Use of complementary and alternative medicine and quality of life: changes at the end of life

Correa-Velez, Ignacio, Clavarino, Alexandra, Barnett, Adrian G. and Eastwood, Heather (2003) Use of complementary and alternative medicine and quality of life: changes at the end of life. Palliative Medicine, 17 8: 695-703. doi:10.1191/0269216303pm834oa

Author Correa-Velez, Ignacio
Clavarino, Alexandra
Barnett, Adrian G.
Eastwood, Heather
Title Use of complementary and alternative medicine and quality of life: changes at the end of life
Journal name Palliative Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0269-2163
Publication date 2003-12-01
Year available 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1191/0269216303pm834oa
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 17
Issue 8
Start page 695
End page 703
Total pages 9
Editor G. Hanks
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Arnold Publishers
Language eng
Subject C1
321399 Complementary/Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified
730304 Palliative care
Abstract The purpose of this study was to compare the physical, psychological and social dimensions associated with quality-of-life outcomes over the last year of life, between advanced cancer users and nonusers of complementary and alternative medicine. One hundred and eleven patients were identified through Queensland Cancer Registry records, and followed up every four to six weeks until close to death using standardized protocols. Outcome measures were symptom burden, psychological distress, subjective wellbeing, satisfaction with conventional medicine and need for control over treatment decisions. At the initial interview, 36 (32%) participants had used complementary/ alternative medicine the previous week; mainly vitamins, minerals and tonics and herbal remedies. Among all participants, 53 (48%) used at least one form of complementary/ alternative medicine over the study period. Only six (11%) visited alternative practitioners on a regular basis. Overall, complementary/ alternative medicine users reported higher levels of anxiety and pain, less satisfaction with conventional medicine and lower need for control over treatment decisions compared with nonusers. These differences tend to change as death approaches. A more rigorous assessment of complementary/ alternative medicine use, psychological distress, pain and subjective wellbeing among patients with advanced cancer is needed in the clinical setting.
Keyword Health Care Sciences & Services
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Medicine, General & Internal
Advanced Cancer
Complementary And Alternative Medicine
End Of Life
Quality Of Life
Depression Scale
Hospital Anxiety
Therapy Use
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 12:29:51 EST