Impact of Open Dialogue about Complementary Alternative Medicine—A Phase II Randomized Controlled Trial

Mette Stie*, Charlotte Delmar, Birgitte Nørgaard, Lars Henrik Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Complementary alternative medicine (CAM) may reduce the symptom burden of side effects to antineoplastic treatment but also cause new side effects and non‐adherence to conventional treatment. The aim of this RCT was to investigate the impact of open dialogue about complementary alternative medicine (OD‐CAM) on cancer patients’ safety, health and quality of life (QoL). Patients undergoing antineoplastic treatment were randomly assigned to standard care (SC) plus OD‐CAM or SC alone. The primary endpoint was frequency of grade 3–4 adverse events (AE) eight weeks after enrollment. Secondary endpoints were frequency of grade 1–4 AE, QoL, psychological distress, perceived information, attitude towards and use of CAM 12 and 24 weeks after enrollment. Survival was analyzed post hoc. Fifty‐seven patients were randomized to the OD‐ CAM group and fifty‐five to the SC group. No significant difference in frequency of grade 3–4 AEs was shown. The same applied to grade 1–4 AEs and QoL, psychological distress and perceived information. A tendency towards better QoL, improved survival and a lower level of anxiety was found in the OD‐CAM group. OD‐CAM is not superior to SC in reducing the frequency of AEs in patients undergoing antineoplastic treatment. OD‐CAM does not compromise patient safety; it may reduce psychological stress and improve QoL and overall survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article number952
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14. Feb 2022


  • Communication
  • Complementary alternative medicine
  • Integrative
  • Oncology
  • Patient safety
  • Quality of life


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