Online Program

Interest in using complementary therapies among distressed cancer patients in clinics affiliated with Montefiore hospitals from 2008 to 2012

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Asif Patel, MBBS MPH MS, Radiation Oncology Department, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New york, NY
Objective: To determine whether distressed individuals diagnosed with cancer are interested in using complementary therapies in oncology clinics of Montefiore-affiliated Hospitals between 2008 and 2012. Methods: We conducted a survey on a sample of 967 individuals aged 20 to 80 years diagnosed with cancer between 2008 and 2012. After excluding respondents with missing data on our key variables of interest, the final sample was 290 (male=52 and female=238). The Distress Thermometer (DT), a self-reported 11-point scale, was used to measure the level of distress in patients. Participants were classified as either mild/moderately or severely distressed. Respondents were also asked whether they were interested in learning complementary therapy programs or not. They were then classified as interested if they answered yes to the question and as not interested if they answered no. We also collected demographic information, such as age, race/ethnicity, language, and zip codes. Results: Over half (54%) of respondents reported interest in complementary medicine. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of severely distressed respondents reported interest in complementary medicine, while only 49% of mildly or moderately distressed individuals reported interest in complementary medicine. Distress was significantly associated with interest in complementary medicine (p<0.05, OR=1.8 CI 1.19-2.9). Even after adjusting age, this association was significant (p<0.05, OR=1.8 CI 1.11-2.81).

Conclusions: Cancer patients with severe distress were more likely to use complementary medicine compared to those mildly or moderately distressed. Further studies are needed to know whether cancer patients with severe distress may benefit from extra layer of counseling.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Explain complementary and alternative medicine(CAM). Compare interest in CAM by cancer patient son the basis of their distress level.

Keyword(s): Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Cancer

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I earned medicine degree from India and then completed MPH from City University of New York .I did research on use of complmentary medicine duirng my internship at Albert Einstein College of medicine.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.