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J Cancer Educ. 2015 Jun;30(2):340-3. doi: 10.1007/s13187-014-0706-y.

A lecture program on complementary and alternative medicine for cancer patients--evaluation of the pilot phase.

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Working Group Integrative Oncology, Dr. Senckenberg Chronomedical Institute, J.W. Goethe University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt, Germany,


About half of all patients with cancer use complementary or alternative medicine (CAM). In 2013, we started a lecture program for patients, followed by evidence-based recommendations on counseling on CAM. These recommendations have been published before by this working group. The aim of the program is to provide scientific facts on the most often used CAM methods in standardized presentations which help patients discuss the topic with their oncologists and support shared decision making. The article presents the evaluation of the pilot phase. Participants received a standardized questionnaire before the start of the lecture. The questionnaire comprises four parts: demographic data, data concerning experience with CAM, satisfaction with the lecture, and needs for further information on CAM. In 2013, seven lectures on CAM were given in cooperation with regional branches of the German Cancer Society in several German states. Four hundred sixty patients and relatives took part (75% females and 16% males). Forty-eight percent formerly had used CAM. Most often named sources of information on CAM were print media (48%) and the Internet (37%). Most participants rated additional written information valuable. About one third would like to have an individual consultation concerning CAM. A standardized presentation of evidence on CAM methods most often used, together with recommendations on the self-management of symptoms, is highly appreciated. The concept of a highly interactive lecture comprising is feasible and if presented in lay terminology, adequate. In order to give additional support on the topic, written information should be provided as the first step.

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