Open dialogue about complementary and alternative medicine early in the oncology treatment trajectory: A qualitative study of patients’ lived experiences

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction: Discussing complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) with patients undergoing oncology treatment is important due to its widespread use. Prior to integrating open dialogue between health professionals and patients about CAM it is necessary to evaluate its impact. This qualitative study aimed to explore the impact of open dialogue about CAM integrated early in the oncology treatment trajectory on patients’ lived experiences of health, quality of life and well-being. Method: Fifteen patients undergoing oncology treatment who participated in the open dialogue about CAM with a nurse specialist were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. Analysis and interpretation were inspired by Kvale and Brinkmann's description of the interpretation of meaning. Results: Life with oncology treatment was marked by 1) doubt and uncertainty as to living a safe and healthy life, 2) an inherent desire and responsibility to do something, including a patient-relative collaborative fighting spirit, and 3) keeping an optimistic view and seeing possibilities. In accommodating these aspects, the open dialogue about CAM considerably alleviated guilt and enhanced the hope for a longer, good life and courage. An empathic approach by the health professional and explicit faith in the patient, together with professional knowledge about both conventional medicine and CAM were crucial elements of the dialogue. Conclusion: Open dialogue about CAM with a trained health professional reassured patients and enhanced their hope and life courage. Such dialogue is important and can be feasibly integrated early in the oncology treatment trajectory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102228
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Volume58
Number of pages10
ISSN1876-3820
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Cancer care
  • Communication
  • Complementary therapies
  • Integrative oncology
  • Open dialogue
  • Qualitative research

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Open dialogue about complementary and alternative medicine early in the oncology treatment trajectory: A qualitative study of patients’ lived experiences'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this