Advertisement

Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 557–564 | Cite as

Demographic, medical, and psychosocial correlates to CAM use among survivors of colorectal cancer

  • Catalina LawsinEmail author
  • Katherine DuHamel
  • Steven H. Itzkowitz
  • Karen Brown
  • Helen Lim
  • Linda Thelemaque
  • Lina Jandorf
Original Article

Abstract

Goals of work

Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) use among cancer patients is becoming more prevalent; however, our understanding of factors contributing to patients’ decisions to participate in CAM is limited. This study examined correlates of CAM use among colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors, an understudied population that experiences many physical and psychological difficulties.

Materials and methods

The sample was 191, predominantly white, CRC survivors (mean age = 59.9 ± 12.6) who were members of a colon disease registry at a NYC metropolitan hospital. Participants completed assessments of sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial factors [e.g., psychological functioning, cancer specific distress, social support (SS), quality of life (QOL)], and past CAM use (e.g., chiropractic care, acupuncture, relaxation, hypnosis, and homeopathy).

Main results

Seventy-five percent of participants reported using at least one type of CAM; most frequently reported was home remedies (37%). Younger (p < 0.01) or female patients (p < 0.01) were more likely to participate in CAM than their older male counterparts. Among psychosocial factors, poorer perceived SS (p = 0.00), more intrusive thoughts (p < 0.05), and poorer overall perceived QOL (p < 0.05) were associated to CAM use. In a linear regression model (including age, gender, SS, intrusive thoughts, and perceived QOL), only age remained a significant predictor of CAM use.

Conclusion

These findings demonstrate that CAM use is prevalent among CRC survivors and should be assessed routinely by providers. CAMs may serve as a relevant adjunct to treatment among CRC patients as well as an indication of need for additional SS, especially among younger patients.

Keywords

Colorectal cancer Cancer CAM Psychosocial factors 

Notes

Acknowledgment

The writing of this paper was supported by Grant No. NCI-CA81137-05 from the National Cancer Institute.

References

  1. 1.
    American Cancer Society (2005) Cancer facts & figures for African Americans 2005–2006. American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GeorgiaGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arndt V, Merx H, Stegmaier C, Ziegler H, Brenner H (2004) Quality of life in patients with colorectal cancer 1 year after diagnosis compared with the general population: a population-based study. J Clin Oncol 22(23):4829–4836, DecemberPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barnes PM, Powell-Griner E, McFann K, Nahin RL (2004) Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults: United States, 2002. Adv Data 27(343):1–19Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Burstein HJ, Gelber S, Guadagnoli E, Weeks JC (1999) Use of alternative medicine by women with early-stage breast cancer. N Engl J Med 340(22):1733–1739, June 3PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cassileth BR (1999) Complimentary therapies: overview and state of the art. Cancer Nurs 22:85–90PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cohen S, Mermelstein R, Kamarck T, Hoberman HM (1985) Measuring the functional components of social support. In: Sarason IG, Sarason BR (eds) Social support: theory, research, and applications. Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, pp. 73–94Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dunn J, Lynch B, Rinaldis M, Pakenham K, McPherson L, Owen N, Leggett B, Newman B, Atiken J (2006) Dimensions of quality of life and psychosocial variables most salient to colorectal cancer patients. Psycho-Oncology 15:20–30PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ernst E, Cassileth BR (1999) How useful are unconventional cancer treatments? Eur J Cancer 35:1605–1613CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Horowitz MJ (1982). Stress response syndromes and their treatment. In: Golderberger L, Breznitz S (eds) Handbook of stress: theoretical and clinical aspects. Free Press, New York, pp 711–732Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lu W (2005) Acupuncture for side effects of chemoradiation therapy in cancer patients. Sem Oncol Nurs 21(3):190–195, AugustCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Molassiotis A, Fernandez-Ortega P, Pud D, Ozden G, Platin N, Hummerston S, Scott JA, Panteli V, Gudmundsdottir G, Selvekerova S (2005) Complementary and alternative medicine use in colorectal cancer patients in seven European countries. Complement Ther Med 13(4):251–257 (December)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Moschen R, Kemmler G, Schweigkofler H, Holzner B, Dunser M, Richter R, Fleischhacker WW, Sperner-Unterweger B (2001) Use of alternative/complementary therapy in breast cancer patients—a psychological perspective. Support Care Cancer 9(4):267–274PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Norum J (1997) Adjuvant chemotherapy in Dukes’ B and C colorectal cancer has only a minor influence on psychological distress. Support Care Cancer 5(4):318–321PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sollner W, Maislinger S, DeVries A, Steixner E, Rumpold G, Lukas P (2000) Use of complementary and alternative medicine by cancer patients is not associated with perceived distress or poor compliance with standard treatment but with active coping behavior: a survey. Cancer 4(873):880Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Spiegel W, Zidek T, Vutuc C, Maier M, Isak K, Micksche M (2003) Complementary therapies in cancer patients: prevalence and patients’ motives. Weiner Klinische Wochenschrift 115(19–20):705–709CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sprangers MA, Taal BG, Aaronson NK, te Velde A (2006) Quality of life in colorectal cancer. Stoma vs. nonstoma patients. Dis Colon Rectum 38(4):361–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stewart A, Sherbourne D, Hayes R et al (1998) Psychological distress/well-being and cognitive functioning measures. In: Stewart A, Ware A (eds) Measuring functioning and well-being. Duke University Press, DurhamGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Tough SC, Johnston DW, Verhoef MJ, Arthur K, Bryant H (2002) Complementary and alternative medicine use among colorectal cancer patients in Alberta, Canada. Altern Ther Health Med 8:54–64PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Verhoef MJ, Balneaves LG, Boon HS, Vroegindewey A (2005) Reasons for and characteristics associated with complementary and alternative medicine use among adult cancer patients: a systematic review. Integr Cancer Ther 4(4):274–286 (December 1)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Walsh JM, Terdiman JP (2003) Colorectal cancer screening: clinical applications. JAMA 289:1297–1302PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ware JE, Manning WG, Duan N et al (1984) Health status and the use of outpatient mental health services. Am Psychol 39:1090–1100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Wolsko PM, Eisenberg DM, Davis RB, Ettner SL, Phillips RS (2002) Insurance coverage, medical conditions, and visits to alternative medicine providers: results of a national survey. Arch Intern Med 162(3):281–287 (February 11)PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Yates JS, Mustian KM, Morrow GR, Gilles LJ, Padmanahan D, Atkins JN, Issell B, Kirshner JJ, Colman LK (2005) Prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine use in cancer patients during treatment. Support Care Cancer 13(10):806–811PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catalina Lawsin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katherine DuHamel
    • 1
  • Steven H. Itzkowitz
    • 2
  • Karen Brown
    • 3
  • Helen Lim
    • 1
  • Linda Thelemaque
    • 1
  • Lina Jandorf
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oncological SciencesMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of GastroenterologyMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Human GeneticsMount Sinai School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations