[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore changes in quality of life (QOL), anxiety, stress, and immune markers after a stay at a raw vegan institute.
Prospective observational study.
English-speaking attendees at Hippocrates Health Institute (Florida, US), a raw vegan institute, were recruited on arrival and typically stayed 1-3 weeks.
Participants completed questionnaires assessing overall QOL (SF-36), dietary QOL (QOL related to dietary change), perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale), anxiety, and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) upon arrival and 12 weeks later. C-reactive protein (CRP), lymphocytes, T cells, CD4 cells, CD8 cells, B cells, and NK cells were measured at baseline and 12 weeks in participants living in North America.
Of 107 attendees eligible for the questionnaire study and 82 for the blood marker substudy, 51 and 38 participants, respectively, provided complete follow-up data. Overall QOL improved 11.5% (p=0.001), driven mostly by the mental component. Anxiety decreased 18.6% (p=0.009) and perceived stress decreased 16.4% (p<0.001). Participants' ratings of the food's taste were unchanged, but their ratings of how well they were taking care of themselves improved. CRP, lymphocytes, T cells, and B cells did not change significantly, but CD4, CD8, and NK cells decreased slightly.
A stay at a raw vegan institute was associated with improved mental and emotional QOL. Studies are needed to determine the feasibility of conducting a clinical trial of the raw vegan diet among healthy people, and subsequently among patients with specific diseases.
Complementary Therapies in Medicine 07/2008; 16(3):124-30. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate adherence and identify predictors of adherence to a raw vegan diet (i.e., uncooked plant foods) following a stay at a raw vegan institute. In this cohort study of guests at a raw vegan institute, subjects completed written questionnaires upon arrival and 12 weeks later. Of 107 eligible guests, 84 participated. Mean age was 54 years, 23 were male, and 73 white. Fifty-one completed the 12-week follow-up. Eight (16%) reported their diet to be 80% raw vegan at baseline and 14 (28%) at follow-up. Based on a raw vegan dietary adherence score (range 0-42) created for this study, mean adherence (SD) increased from 15.1 (5.4) to 17.0 (5.8) over 12 weeks (p=0.03). Baseline predictors of adherence included: education (beta=0.95), severity of disease (beta=0.98), and self-efficacy to adhere (beta=0.72). Future interventions that evaluate this diet should address self-efficacy, an important, potentially remediable predictor of adherence.
Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 03/2008; 14(1):53-9.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This review of the medical literature from 1994 to 2003 summarizes the relationship between raw and cooked vegetables and cancer risk and examines whether they may affect cancer risk differently. Twenty-eight studies examined the relationship between raw and cooked vegetables and risk for various cancers. Twenty-one studies assessed raw, but not cooked, vegetables and cancer risk. The majority of these assessed risk of oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, esophageal, lung, gastric, and colorectal cancers. Most showed that vegetables, raw or cooked, were inversely related to these cancers. However, more consistent results were found for oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, esophageal, and gastric cancers. Nine of the 11 studies of raw and cooked vegetables showed statistically significant inverse relationships of these cancers with raw vegetables, but only 4 with cooked vegetables. The few studies of breast, lung, and colorectal cancers also suggested an inverse relationship with both raw and cooked vegetables, but these results were less consistent. In the two studies of prostate cancer, there was no association with either raw or cooked vegetables. One of two bladder cancer studies found an inverse relationship with cooked, but not raw, vegetables. Possible mechanisms by which cooking affects the relationship between vegetables and cancer risk include changes in availability of some nutrients, destruction of digestive enzymes, and alteration of the structure and digestibility of food. Both raw and cooked vegetable consumption are inversely related to epithelial cancers, particularly those of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and possibly breast cancer; however, these relationships may be stronger for raw vegetables than cooked vegetables.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to compare patients who do and do not describe their coping strategies as attempts to control their cancer. This was a cross-sectional study of adult, oncology outpatients from an urban medical centre diagnosed 6-24 months previously. Using open-ended questions, we asked participants if they tried to 'control' their cancer or situation. If 'yes', how? If 'no', how had they 'dealt with' it? The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD) measured anxiety and depression. The Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale (MAC) assessed six coping styles. Of the 44 participants, 57% were female. The mean age was 57 years. Eighteen (41%) said they used control strategies (control-yes), 11 (25%) said they did not (control-no), and 15 (34%) gave unclear responses (control-unclear). Participants cited 97 different coping strategies that were grouped into proactive (e.g. lifestyle changes) and reactive strategies (e.g. stoic behaviour). In comparing these groups, the control-yes group was more likely to be younger (P = 0.0001), live with other(s) (P = 0.003), be confident of being cured (P = 0.006), have greater 'fighting spirit' on the MAC (P = 0.04) and use more proactive strategies (P = 0.0001). The conclusion of this study is that cancer patients use many coping strategies, but those who think of them as methods of control are younger and more confident of being cured, and use more proactive strategies.
European Journal of Cancer Care 08/2004; 13(3):219-26. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: Receiving the diagnosis of cancer has frequently led people to feel out of control, yet there is evidence that people who feel in control of their cancer adjust better to their illness. Identifying correlates of control will aid in the development of interventions to enhance patients feelings of control over their disease. The purpose of this study was to determine the sociodemographic, clinical, and psychological characteristics of cancer patients who believe they have control over their disease.Methods: This was a pilot study of patients diagnosed with cancer in the previous 6 to 24 months who were recruited from three oncology practices that varied socio-demographically and in their use of complementary therapies. Participants were asked verbally if they had done anything to try to gain control over their cancer or situation. Anxiety and depression were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. For each of these domains, the scores can range from 0 to 21, with ⩽7 considered normal. Six coping styles were assessed with the Mental Adjustment to Cancer Scale. The raw score for each coping style was transformed to a scale ranging from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating increased use of this coping style. Patients were also asked Likert-response questions about their perceptions of the seriousness of the cancer, and the impact of the cancer and its treatment on their lives. Other clinical information was obtained at the interview or by chart review. T-tests and chi-square were used to compare the groups who did and did not feel in control.Results: Of the 44 participants, 38% were male and 84% Caucasian. The mean age was 57 years and median education was 16 years. There were 19 different cancer diagnoses, with breast (34%) and lung cancers (21%) most common; 23% had metastases and 57% were on treatment. Compared to the 11 participants who said they had not done anything to try to control their cancer or situation, the 18 who said they did try to take control were younger (50 vs 71 years old, p
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 01/2002; 55(6):629-630. · 5.33 Impact Factor