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Complementary therapy use by cancer patients. Physicians' perceptions, attitudes, and ideas.

Author(s): O'Beirne M | Verhoef M | Paluck E | Herbert C

Journal: Canadian Family Physician
ISSN 0008-350X

Volume: 50;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 882;
Date: 2004;
Original page

OBJECTIVE: To explore family physicians' perceptions of their cancer patients' use of complementary therapy. DESIGN: Qualitative pilot study. SETTING: British Columbia and Alberta. PARTICIPANTS: Rural and urban family physicians. METHOD: Five focus groups were conducted with a total of 28 participants. Content analysis of focus group transcripts. MAIN FINDINGS: Eight themes were identified: definition of complementary therapies, importance of holistic health, role of evidence, attitudes toward complementary therapies, perceptions of cancer patients' use of complementary therapies, patient-physician communication, perceptions of family physicians' role with respect to complementary therapies, and concerns about complementary therapies. Family physicians believed that many of their patients were using complementary therapies and that patients and physicians needed to communicate about this practice. CONCLUSION: The study increased understanding of physicians'perspectives on communication about complementary therapies and exposed issues that need to be addressed through education and research.
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