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Dialogue and guidance on complementary and alternative medicine to cancer patients

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among cancer patients is relatively high in Denmark, as studies have shown that up to 50% of cancer patients use CAM. However, studies show that cancer patients lack guidance and support from health professionals and that more than half of cancer patients who use CAM do not tell this to healthcare professionals.

This present project identifies the latest knowledge on CAM in a literature study. Through focus groups with cancer patients, physicians and nurses as well as relevant groups of CAM therapists, the wishes for dialogue and guidance on CAM of the described groups will be identified. On the basis of focus groups and the literature study, teaching materials as well as a model for healthcare professionals’ counseling of cancer patients on CAM will be developed. The model will be tested in a number of oncology departments in Denmark. Cancer patients’ assessment of dialogues will be evaluated by means of questionnaires before and after the intervention. Experience of the intervention will also be collected through focus groups with complex groups of patients, health professionals and CAM therapists.

The project is funded by Danish Health Authority and is carried out by The Danish Cancer Society, University of Southern Denmark (Department of Public Health), and the Danish Knowledge Centre for Rehabilitation and Palliative Care (REHPA).

Contact person: Birgitte Nørgaard