Complimentary Therapies for Cancer– Digest – March 2016

Our current literature update includes:



Authors: Liu R; Chang A; Reddy S; Hecht FM; Chao MT.
Title: Improving Patient-Centered Care: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Prior Use and Interest in Complementary and Integrative Health Approaches Among
Hospitalized Oncology Patients.
Source: Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. 22(2):160-5, 2016 Feb.
OBJECTIVES: To describe cancer inpatients' prior-year use of complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapies and interest in receiving CIH therapies while in the hospital.
DESIGN: Observational, cross-sectional survey of prior-year use of 12 different CIH approaches and interest in receiving any of 7 CIH services in the hospital.
SETTING: Surgical oncology ward of an academic medical center.
PARTICIPANTS: 166 hospitalized oncology patients, with an average age of 54 years.
RESULTS: The most commonly used CIH approach was vitamins/nutritional supplements (67%), followed by use of a special diet (42%) and manual therapies (39%). More than 40% of patients expressed interest in each of the therapies if it was offered during their hospital stay, and 95% of patients were interested in at least one. More than 75% expressed interest in nutritional counseling and in massage. CIH use and interest varied somewhat by demographic and clinical characteristics.
CONCLUSION: Rates of CIH use among patients with cancer were high, as were their preferences to have these services available in the inpatient setting. Hospitals have the opportunity to provide patient-centered care by developing capacity to provide inpatient CIH services.

Authors: Suzuki R; Eusebius S; Makled M.
Title: Is complementary and alternative medicine use associated with cancer screening rates for women with functional disabilities?
Source: Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 24:73-9, 2016 Feb.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine the associations of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use with mammogram and Pap test rates and functional disabilities (FDs).
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: Data were derived from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (n=6576).
ANALYSIS: FDs was defined as physical and/or social limitations. The weighted logistic regression models were performed using SAS software. Study covariates were age, race, education, marital status, usual source of care, and insurance.
RESULTS: Of 6576 women, a majority were Caucasian (87%), with GED or less (40%), married (50%), having usual source of care (96%) and health insurance (91%), and with FDs (56%). The results indicated that some CAM practices were negatively associated with increased mammogram and Pap test rates while other CAM practices were positively associated. The results indicated that CAM practices that contribute to musculoskeletal problems such as acupuncture and massage were associated with the increased mammogram and Pap test rates. Contrary, women who used chiropractic manipulation, biofeedback, guided imagery, and energy hearing therapy were less likely to obtain cancer screenings regularly regardless of having FDs.
CONCLUSIONS: The use of several CAM therapies was more likely to be associated with mammogram and Pap test frequency, indicating that the CAM use may be associated with better screening rates due to the improvement of musculoskeletal problems. It is important to determine how each CAM therapy improves secondary health conditions in clinical trials to increase cancer screening rates for women with FDs.

Authors: Muecke R; Paul M; Conrad C; Stoll C; Muenstedt K; Micke O; Prott FJ; Buentzel J; Huebner J; PRIO (Working Group Prevention and Integrative Oncology of the German Cancer Society).
Title: Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Palliative Care: A Comparison of Data From Surveys Among Patients and Professionals.
Source: Integrative Cancer Therapies. 15(1):10-6, 2016 Mar.
PURPOSE: Many cancer patients use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) during or after their therapy. Because little is known about CAM in palliative care, we conducted 2 surveys among patients and professionals in the palliative setting.
PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: Patients of a German Comprehensive Cancer Center were interviewed, and an independent online survey was conducted among members of the German Society for Palliative Care (DGP).
RESULTS: In all, 25 patients and 365 professional members of the DGP completed the survey (9.8% of all members); 40% of the patients, 85% of the physicians, and 99% of the nurses claimed to be interested in CAM. The most important source of information for professionals is education, whereas for patients it is radio, TV, and family and friends. Most patients are interested in biological-based methods, yet professionals prefer mind-body-based methods. Patients more often confirm scientific evidence to be important for CAM than professionals.
CONCLUSIONS: To improve communication, physicians should be trained in evidence for those CAM methods in which patients are interested.

Theraputic Touch

Authors: Vanaki Z; Matourypour P; Gholami R; Zare Z; Mehrzad V; Dehghan M.
Title: Therapeutic touch for nausea in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: Composing a treatment.
Source: Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 22:64-8, 2016 Feb.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Therapeutic touch (TT) is independent nursing intervention which is effective on nausea induced by chemotherapy but technique, steps and variables affected by this therapy are not yet well known. The aim of this study was to elicit descriptions of how TT is used with cancer patients, providing a basis for the systematic use and evaluation of TT with patients.
MATERIALS AND METHOD: In this research, 108 patients were examined with intentional sampling and random allocation in 3 groups (control, placebo and intervention) in 2013 (each group 36). Intervention received therapeutic touch (touching of first energy layer) and demographic form, visual analog scale (VAS) for intensity of nausea, check list for duration and times of nausea in the morning, noon, afternoon and night at acute phase were used. Data were analyzed by Kruskal Wallis, chi(2) and analysis of variance (ANOVA).
RESULTS: Duration, frequency and intensity of nausea were significantly lower in the test group (P < 0.001, P < 0.001 and P < 0.001). The mean duration of intervention (whole process) was 21.38 min [SD 6.04]. In 69.4% of women there was a need for re-intervention after reassessment phase.
CONCLUSION: Results of this randomized control trial showed that TT is effective on duration, times and intensity of nausea; therefore, TT can be used as an alternative method for patients who are willing to use this technique.

Aromatherapy Massage

Authors: Chen TH; Tung TH; Chen PS; Wang SH; Chao CM; Hsiung NH; Chi CC.
Title: The Clinical Effects of Aromatherapy Massage on Reducing Pain for the Cancer Patients: Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.
Source: Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine: eCAM. 2016:9147974, 2016.
Purpose. Aromatherapy massage is an alternative treatment in reducing the pain of the cancer patients. This study was to investigate whether aromatherapy massage could improve the pain of the cancer patients. Methods. We searched PubMed and Cochrane Library for relevant randomized controlled trials without language limitations between 1 January 1990 and 31 July 2015 with a priori defined inclusion and exclusion criteria. The search terms included aromatherapy, essential oil, pain, ache, cancer, tumor, and carcinoma. There were 7 studies which met the selection criteria and 3 studies were eventually included among 63 eligible publications. Results. This meta-analysis included three randomized controlled trials with a total of 278 participants (135 participants in the massage with essential oil group and 143 participants in the control (usual care) group). Compared with the control group, the massage with essential oil group had nonsignificant effect on reducing the pain (standardized mean difference = 0.01; 95% CI [-0.23,0.24]). Conclusion. Aromatherapy massage does not appear to reduce pain of the cancer patients. Further rigorous studies should be conducted with more objective measures.