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ABSTRACT: The relationship between the use of complementary therapy (CT) and satisfaction with medical treatment decision making and with the treating oncologist was evaluated in a sample of 166 women who were undergoing an initial course of chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer. At the beginning of chemotherapy, 39% indicated already trying CT and an additional 13% reported planning to try CT. These women mentioned a variety of vitamin, nutritional, herbal, physical, mental, and spiritual approaches. Four months later, when most patients had completed chemotherapy, more than half (53%) reported using CT, with another 8% planning to try it. Regression analysis controlling for psychosocial and medical variables revealed that women who were younger and less satisfied with their treatment decision-making experience were significantly more likely to use CT. When predicting use of CT at the conclusion of treatment, baseline utilization was the greatest predictor, but dissatisfaction with the oncologist was also a significant predictor. These findings suggest that patients who are dissatisfied with their medical care may be more likely to use CT during treatment. Further research is needed to elucidate the relationship between satisfaction with medical decision making and the patient-physician relationship to CT use among cancer patients. The findings also highlight the importance of good patient-physician communication about CT use throughout the cancer treatment experience.
Integrative Cancer Therapies 10/2006; 5(3):224-31. · 2.35 Impact Factor