International Journal of Hematology and Oncology 2020, Vol 30, Num 2 Page(s): 045-053
Complementary/Alternative Medicine Experience in Cancer Patients: A Questionnaire-Based Survey

Gamze G. DOGU1, Aysegul KARGI2, Ozgur TANRIVERDI3, Arzu YAREN1, Gokcen DEMIRAY1, Burcu Y. TASKOYLU1, Ahmet ERGIN4

1Pamukkale University Faculty of the Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Denizli, TURKEY
2Denizli State Hospital, Division of Medical Oncology, Denizli, TURKEY
3Mugla University Faculty of the Medicine, Department of Medical Oncology, Mugla, TURKEY
4Pamukkale University Faculty of the Medicine, Department of Public Health, Denizli, TURKEY

Keywords: Cancer, Complementary and alternative medicine
A study was designed to evaluate the frequency of complementary/alternative therapy (CAM) knowledge and usage in cancer patients. A 23-item survey questionnaire was administered to 494 patients who received chemotherapy in the medical oncology department of three hospitals between June 2011 and December 2011. After giving written informed consent, patients completed a selfadministered questionnaire. Differences among participants were assessed by using the SPSS 17.0 software. Of the 494 patients, 48% had heard of CAM, and 23.5% had used at least one CAM model. Herbs and vitamins were the most frequently used approach (82.2%). The most commonly used herb was the stinging nettle (55.5%). Marital status (p= 0.003), educational status (p< 0.001), monthly income (p< 0.001), knowledge about disease (p< 0.001), family history of comorbidity (p<0.012), and place of residence (0.004) were statistically significant for knowledge about CAM. However, marital status (p< 0.001), comorbidity (p= 0.004), educational status (p=0.006), family history of comorbidity (p= 0.008), and family history of cancer (p= 0.03) were statistically significant for CAM use. Logistic regression analysis showed that educational status (p=0.015), high monthly income (p=0.03), knowledge about disease (p= 0.005), and a family history of comorbidity (p= 0.005) were statistically significant for knowledge about CAM. Otherwise, only marital status (p< 0.001) and comorbidity (p= 0.04) were determined as independent factors for CAM use. Health professionals should routinely ask their patients about CAM use and discuss the reasons and outcomes of use. Randomized clinical trials are needed to determine possible risks and benefits associated with CAM use.