Complementary and Integrative Health Therapies Are Commonly Used by Hospitalized Patients With Cancer

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More than 95% of hospitalized patients with cancer expressed interest in complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches if these therapies were offered to them during their hospital stay, a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has shown.1

In this study, Rhianon Liu and Maria Chao, DrPH, University of California San Francisco, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, evaluated the use of 12 CIH approaches by patients in a surgical oncology ward. They also assessed patient interest in 7 CIH approaches.

Results showed that vitamins/nutritional supplements (67%), a special diet (42%), and manual therapies such as massage or acupressure (39%) were the CIH approaches most commonly used by hospitalized patients with cancer.

More than 40% of patients expressed interest in each of 7 CIH treatments offered, including nutritional counseling (77%) and massage (76%). Other therapies that generated interest among approximately half of participants were acupuncture, biofeedback, and mindfulness meditation.

This research was supported by grants from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.


1. Mary Ann Liebert Inc/Genetic Engineering News. New study shows high use of complementary therapies by cancer inpatients. EurekAlert! web site. Posted December 2, 2015. Accessed December 3, 2015.

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