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Exploring the use of complementary and alternative medicine by people with cancer

Exploring the use of complementary and alternative medicine by people with cancer
Exploring the use of complementary and alternative medicine by people with cancer
Complementary and alternative medicine are widely used by people with cancer, yet little information exists as to how such therapies are used or people's motivations for using them, and few studies have been conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of these in the context of cancer and its treatment. Therapies may be used in parallel to conventional cancer treatment in the belief that they may help cure the cancer, prevent its recurring, help manage the symptoms or simply enhance well-being. Little data exist for patients to help guide choices over whether or not to use complementary medicine. There is also a lack of information available to inform patients as to how to use therapies for their best effect; many patients manage complementary treatments themselves as there is little else to guide them. Pressure is increasing to fill in the large evidence gaps surrounding the efficacy and safety of complementary medicine through conducting large-scale clinical trials. This paper argues against launching, at this stage, a major initiative to conduct clinical trials to test the effectiveness of various therapies; instead, an approach using qualitative methods and drawing on biographical narrative research is advocated.
We are in the process of collecting information about how people with cancer use complementary therapies in a longitudinal study of cancer patients who have declared that they are users or non-users of complementary medicine, funded by the NHS R&D Programme. Using a biographic narrative method, detailed maps of the ways in which patients' use complementary medicine and the intersection of this with individual cancer journeys and personal biographies are being acquired. Arguments for this novel methodological approach are presented.
alternative medicine, Complementary and alternative medicine, Qualitative research, Biographic narrative method, Cancer, Neoplasms
101-109
Corner, J.
eddc9d69-aa12-4de5-8ab0-b20a6b5765fa
Harewood, J.
c6a5c84f-7ce2-4357-a8d4-744860ea5592
Corner, J.
eddc9d69-aa12-4de5-8ab0-b20a6b5765fa
Harewood, J.
c6a5c84f-7ce2-4357-a8d4-744860ea5592

Corner, J. and Harewood, J. (2004) Exploring the use of complementary and alternative medicine by people with cancer. Journal of Research in Nursing, 9 (2), 101-109. (doi:10.1177/136140960400900204).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Complementary and alternative medicine are widely used by people with cancer, yet little information exists as to how such therapies are used or people's motivations for using them, and few studies have been conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of these in the context of cancer and its treatment. Therapies may be used in parallel to conventional cancer treatment in the belief that they may help cure the cancer, prevent its recurring, help manage the symptoms or simply enhance well-being. Little data exist for patients to help guide choices over whether or not to use complementary medicine. There is also a lack of information available to inform patients as to how to use therapies for their best effect; many patients manage complementary treatments themselves as there is little else to guide them. Pressure is increasing to fill in the large evidence gaps surrounding the efficacy and safety of complementary medicine through conducting large-scale clinical trials. This paper argues against launching, at this stage, a major initiative to conduct clinical trials to test the effectiveness of various therapies; instead, an approach using qualitative methods and drawing on biographical narrative research is advocated.
We are in the process of collecting information about how people with cancer use complementary therapies in a longitudinal study of cancer patients who have declared that they are users or non-users of complementary medicine, funded by the NHS R&D Programme. Using a biographic narrative method, detailed maps of the ways in which patients' use complementary medicine and the intersection of this with individual cancer journeys and personal biographies are being acquired. Arguments for this novel methodological approach are presented.

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More information

Published date: 2004
Keywords: alternative medicine, Complementary and alternative medicine, Qualitative research, Biographic narrative method, Cancer, Neoplasms

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 9214
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/9214
PURE UUID: 73452614-0993-47b7-bc74-6ccb7e08dae7

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Oct 2004
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:11

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Contributors

Author: J. Corner
Author: J. Harewood

University divisions

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