Vol 71, No 5 (2021)
Research paper (original)
Published online: 2021-09-01

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Use of complementary and alternative medicine among Polish cancer patients

Mirosława Puskulluoglu1, Barbara Uchańska2, Krzysztof A. Tomaszewski34, Aneta L. Zygulska5, Paulina Zielińska1, Aleksandra Grela-Wojewoda1
Nowotwory. Journal of Oncology 2021;71(5):274-281.


Introduction. The aim of this prospective study was to estimate the perception and popularity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) subtypes and the reasons for usage among adult Polish cancer patients.

Material and methods. The validated questionnaire was conducted among 310 patients. 24.1% of the patients used CAM during their oncological treatment. Risk factors for CAM usage were: female gender, university degree and radical treatment. The most common reasons for CAM usage were: boosting the immune system (46.1%), improving well-being/ counteracting the ill effects of cancer and its treatment (40.8%). The average level of satisfaction with CAM was high (≥3/5 on a Likert scale). Nearly half of the patients (46.6%) admitted not informing their doctors about their CAM usage.

Conclusions. The growing popularity and heterogeneity of CAM methods make it an important issue for patient–doctor relations in Poland and other Central European countries. The results of this study indicate what topics should be covered while introducing patient education programs.

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