Complementary and alternative medicine use in colorectal cancer patients in seven European countries



Molassiotis A, Fernandez-Ortega P, Pud D, Ozden G, Platin N, Hummerston S, Scott J, Panteli V, Gudmundsdottir G, Selvekerova S & Patiraki E (2005) Complementary and alternative medicine use in colorectal cancer patients in seven European countries. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 13 (4), pp. 251-257.

Purpose: The aim of the present study was to examine the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in a sample of colorectal cancer patients in Europe. Methods: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional survey and data were collected through a 27-item self-reported questionnaire from seven European countries. Results: As part of a larger study, 126 colorectal cancer patients participated in this survey. Among the participants, 32% used CAM after the diagnosis of cancer. Almost half the CAM therapies used were new therapies, never tried before the diagnosis. The most common CAM therapies used included herbal medicine (48.7%), homeopathy (20.5%), use of vitamins/minerals (17.9%), spiritual therapies (15.4%), medicinal teas (15.4%) and relaxation techniques (12.8%). A dramatic increase was observed in the use of CAM from usage levels before the cancer diagnosis. High levels of satisfaction with CAM were also reported. Patients used CAM more often to increase the body’s ability to fight the cancer or to improve physical well-being. However, expectations did not always match with the benefits reported.

complementary medicine; alternative medicine; colorectal cancer; Europe; complementary therapies; Cancer Alternative treatment; Cancer Nursing; Cancer Patients; Alternative Medicine methods

Complementary Therapies in Medicine: Volume 13, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/2005

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Mrs Julia Scott

Mrs Julia Scott

Senior Teaching Fellow, Health Sciences Stirling