Reasons for Mind-body Therapy Use Among Cancer Survivors Vary by Stage

Cancer survivors use mind-body therapies to manage their cancer-related symptoms, but this use may differ for each cancer survivorship stage.
Cancer survivors use mind-body therapies to manage their cancer-related symptoms, but this use may differ for each cancer survivorship stage.

Cancer survivors use mind-body therapies (MBTs) to manage their cancer-related symptoms, but this use may differ for each cancer survivorship stage, a study published online ahead of print in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer has shown.1

Intensities of medical activities, associated emotions, and treatment effects vary throughout cancer survivorship; therefore, how survivors use MBTs to manage their symptoms may differ at each stage. This study examined the relationship between MBT use and survivorship stage. MBT is a subset of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Survivorship stages were defined as acute, short-term, and long-term (less than 1 year, 1 to 5 years, and more than 5 years since diagnosis, respectively). Data was from the CAM supplement of the 2012 National Health Interview Study. Reported reasons for and outcomes of MBT use and frequency of MBT types were also examined.

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Logistic regression was used to measure the relationship between MBT use and survivorship stage among 3076 cancer survivors and 31 387 noncancer controls. Weighted percentages were calculated by survivorship stage for reported reasons and outcomes of MBT use and frequency of MBT types.

Use of MBT varied at 8.3% for acute, 15.4% for short-term, 11.7% for long-term survivorship stages and 13.2% for noncancer controls. Short-term survivors were 35% more likely to use MBT than were controls (95% CI 1.00, 1.83). More acute survivors reported medical-related reasons for MBT use, and more short-term survivors reported symptom management as their reason for MBT use.

The researchers point out that these findings can help inform allocation of supportive care services for cancer survivors.

REFERENCE

1. Campo RA, Leniek KL, Gaylord-Scott N, et al. Weathering the seasons of cancer survivorship: mind-body therapy use and reported reasons and outcomes by stages of cancer survivorship [published online ahead of print April 6, 2016]. Support Care Cancer. doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3200-8.
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