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Journal of Cancer Prevention

Original Article

Journal of cancer prevention 2013; 18(1): 8-16

Published online March 30, 2013

© Korean Society of Cancer Prevention

The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among Cancer Patients: Community-based Survey

Jeong Hwan Park1, Sun-Mi Choi1, Seung-Min Baek1, Su Jeong Moon1, Hyun-Ju Seo2, Minhee Lee1, Sul-Gi Kim3, Ji-Hoon Jung4 and Sang-Hun Lee1

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence and utilization patterns of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among cancer patients. We conducted a nationwide interview of 333 participants with cancer through structured questionnaires and performed multiple logistic regression modeling to predict CAM use. CAM use in the past 1 year was 77.5%. Central and southern region residents displayed a significantly lower rate of CAM usage than the northern; moreover, CAM was more likely to be used by patients who have had cancer for 2∼3 years and ≥6 years than those who for ≤1 year. Natural products (71.8%) and red ginseng (19.8%) were the most frequently used CAM type and modality, respectively. The main reason for trying CAM was vague expectations (67.4%). The first source of information about CAM was friends (43.0%), and the first counselor of CAM use was family (36.8%). The subjective effectiveness of CAM was found to be excellent in 68.3% of the patients, and 76.7% of the patients were willing to recommend CAM to others. CAM is widely used among cancer patients. Doctors should provide information on the effectiveness and safety of CAM for cancer patients, as well as patient-centered care through active discussion with these patients and their families. (Cancer Prev Res 18, 8-16, 2013)

Keywords: Cancer, Complementary and alternative medicine, Survey

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