The problematic nature of conflating use and advocacy in CAM integration: Complexity and differentiation in UK cancer patients' views

Tovey, Philip; Broom, Alex
December 2008
Health Sociology Review;Dec2008, Vol. 17 Issue 4, p384
Academic Journal
The integration of complementary and alternative medicine into cancer care is widely debated. Advocates of integration frequently cite the popularity of such therapies amongst patients in support of their case. However, little specific empirical attention has been given to how integration is actually regarded by these patients. Based on semi structured interviews with 80 cancer patients in the UK, this article examines the assumption of a link between use and support for integration. On the basis of this study we argue that: 1. A characterisation of unequivocal cancer patients' support for integration (even amongst those who use CAM) is an over-simplification and distortion of the situation 2. It is inappropriate to conflate 'use' with 'advocacy' 3. Patients' engagement with the idea of integration is complex and multi-layered; and 4. This complexity can be explicated by looking at key dimensions of an integrative process: evidence and risk, cost, and provider legitimacy.


Related Articles

  • Cancer Patients Using Alternative Therapies.  // Natural Life;Jan/Feb2002, Issue 83, p22 

    Reports the increase in the use of complementary or alternative medicines by cancer patients in New Zealand. Reasons for taking alternative medicines; Percentage of cancer patients using alternative medicine as sole method; Concern on the safety of alternative medicine.

  • Texas Center studies research alternative treatments. McCann, Jean // JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute;10/15/97, Vol. 89 Issue 20, p1485 

    Reports on the increased use of alternative treatments by American cancer patients despite limited evidence on their efficacay and safety. Information and evaluation of therapies; Concern on costs; Development of clinical protocols.

  • Working with Cancer Patients: Nutritional And Complementary Approaches. Alexander, Laurel // Positive Health;Jul2003, Issue 90, p38 

    Looks at the nutritional and complementary approaches in working with cancer patients. Nutritional guidelines used in the patients; Basic dietary suggestions; Nutrition and chemotherapy for nausea and vomiting; Coping with radiotherapy; Hormone therapy and weight management.

  • Pursuit and practice of complementary therapies by cancer patients receiving conventional treatments. Downer, S.M.; Cody, M.M.; McCluskey, P.; Wilson, P.D.; Arnott, S.J.; Lister, T.A.; Slevin, M.K.L. // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);7/9/94, Vol. 309 Issue 6947, p86 

    Focuses on the pursuit and practice of complementary therapies by cancer patients on conventional therapies in Great Britain. Definition of complementary medicine; List of common complementary therapies sought out; Satisfaction of patient with complementary therapy. INSET: Clinical implications.

  • Types of Alternative Medicine Used by Patients with Breast, Colon, or Prostate Cancer: Predictors, Motives, and Costs. Patterson, Ruth E.; Neuhouser, Marian L.; Hedderson, Monique M.; Schwartz, Stephen M.; Standish, Leanna J.; Bowen, Deborah J.; Marshall, Lynn M. // Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Aug2002, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p477 

    Objective: Assess predictors and costs of various types of alternative medicine used by adult patients with cancer. Design, location, subjects: Telephone survey of 356 patients with colon, breast, or prostate cancer identified from the population-based Cancer Surveillance System of western...

  • Alternative therapy use common in cancer patients.  // Urology Times;Aug2002, Vol. 30 Issue 8, p5 

    Reports the administration of alternative therapy for cancer patients in the U.S.

  • Determinants of the Degree of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Patients with Cancer. Shumay, Dianne M.; Maskarinec, Gertraud; Gotay, Carolyn C.; Heiby, Elaine M.; Kakai, Hisako // Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;Oct2002, Vol. 8 Issue 5, p661 

    Objectives: This study explored the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by degree of use (nonuse, light, moderate, and heavy) by patients with cancer as it relates to sociodemographic and disease characteristics, subjective well-being, and dissatisfaction with the health care...

  • Twenty years of therapeutic touch in a Canadian cancer agency: lessons learned from a case study of integrative oncology practice. Gina Mackenzie; Sarah Sample; Jennifer Macdonald // Supportive Care in Cancer;Aug2007, Vol. 15 Issue 8, p993 

    Abstract Goals of work  Therapeutic touch (TT) is a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment modeled on the ancient practice of “laying on of hands” that has been developed into a contemporary supportive care intervention. Evidence-based...

  • Cancer Patients' Stories about CAM-Use: The Ongoing Work to Shape as Good a Life as Possible During Cancer Illness and Treatment. Berntsen, Gro K. Rosvold // Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine;May2014, Vol. 20 Issue 5, pA20 

    An abstract of the study "Cancer Patients' Stories about CAM-Use: The Ongoing Work to Shape as Good a Life as Possible During Cancer Illness and Treatment" by Nina Foss, Gro K. and Rosvold Berntsen is presented.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics