Attitudes, Beliefs Drive Use of Complementary Medicine

posted by Pivotal Health Solutions on Friday, July 17, 2015

How's your attitude? A recent study has found that cancer patients' expectations, beliefs, opinions and perception of barriers related to complementary medicine drive their use of this modality--offering some guidance for hospitals and practices in how they should develop more effective and accessible cancer services.

The study found that patients who were older, female and had a college education were more likely to expect greater benefits from complementary medicine. And while nonwhite patients reported more perceived barriers, overall attitudes and beliefs were more likely to affect use of complementary medicine, acording to the study. 

Opinions that made an impact were those related to therapeutic benefits, cost and access, and the opinions of their physician or family members on complementary medicine. 

The study results suggest that hospitals and practices should better align their integrative programs with patients' expectations, help remove barriers to cost and access, and engage patients' social and support networks. 

A new study has shed light on how cancer patients' attitudes and beliefs drive the use of complementary and alternative medicine. Published in Cancer (2015; doi:10.1002/cncr.29173), the findings may help hospitals develop more effective and accessible integrative oncology services for patients.

Although many cancer patients use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), what drives this usage is unclear. To investigate, a team led by Jun Mao, MD, and Joshua Bauml, MD, of the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, conducted a survey-based study in their institution's thoracic, breast, and gastrointestinal medical oncology clinics.

This article excerpt, by Kathy Boltz, PhD, originally appeared here:


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