Patterns of the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Women With Metastatic Cancer


CANCER NURSING, vol.33, no.3, pp.194-200, 2010 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/ncc.0b013e3181c295ac
  • Title of Journal : CANCER NURSING
  • Page Numbers: pp.194-200


Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been widely used in the general population and in patients with cancer. Female sex and advanced cancer are 2 reported factors contributing to CAM use. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the patterns of CAM use among women with metastatic cancer. Methods: A total of 68 women were enrolled into this cross-sectional study. All participants were receiving conventional treatment in a single inpatient oncology center. Data were collected from the women through a face-to-face interview guided by a questionnaire. On the basis of women's responses, all participants were divided into 2 groups: CAM users and nonusers. Results: The 2 cancers most frequently diagnosed in these women were gastrointestinal cancer (36.8%) and breast cancer (33.8%). Of 68 women, 40 (58.8%) reported the use of at least 1 type of CAM therapy after the diagnosis of cancer. There were no significant differences in the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics between CAM users and nonusers (P > .05). The most frequently used CAM method was herbal therapy (34.6%) and the second was nutritional supplements (17.9%). A considerable proportion (60.0%) of CAM users had not discussed their CAM use with their physicians or nurses. Four (10%) patients reported an adverse effect due to CAM use. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that Turkish women with metastatic cancer seek to use CAM, with a small minority being at risk of potential adverse effects of certain CAM products. Implications for Practice: Because of the high prevalence of CAM therapies among women with metastatic cancer, oncology specialists and nurses should increase their knowledge about CAM therapies. Nurses are in a position to provide knowledge and education about CAM therapies and to develop protocols and guidelines about CAM use for patients with cancer.