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J Korean Cancer Assoc > Volume 30(2); 1998 > Article
Journal of the Korean Cancer Association 1998;30(2): 203-213.
Utilization of Alternative Therapies in Cancer Patients
Kun Sei Lee, Hyung Sik Ahn, La Il Hwang, Young Sung Lee, Bum Hwan Koo
1Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Kon-Kuk University.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Korea University.
3Department of Health Policy and Management, College of Medicine, Chung-buk University.
4Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, Korea University.
To determine patient's use of alternative cancer therapies, as well as the characteristics of the patients who used these therapies, descriptive study was conducted at the one college hospital in Seoul.
Of 950 eligible patients who discharged from October 1, 1996 to Febrary 28, 1997, 283 patients were completed semistructured questionnaire telephone survey finally(response rate is 29.8%).
Alternative therapies were used by 53.0% of patients. The preferred was dietary therapies and oriental(herbs, acupucture) therapies, folk therapies, drug therapies were other popular methods. Any patient characteristics except time prolongation after diagnosis were not associated with use of alternative therapies. The patients were seeking for alternative therapy because they thought conventional medical treatments were not enough to expect to improve their health, The major source of information was relatives and friends, not the mass media. 46.6% of the patients used althenative therapy said that it were not effective but 30.4% of them said it would help to slow the progression of their disease or strengthen their resistance. 45.0% of them were satisfied with it.
A significant proportion of cancer patients use one or more forms of alternative therapy. The physicians should recognize and give due consideration to the patients underlying desire for better control of his disease, and should be able to advise his patients on the use of alternative therapy.
Key words: Alternative therapy;Cancer
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