Patient Reported Outcomes/Quality of Life

PV QA 4 - Poster Viewing Q&A 4

TU_40_3710 - International Survey on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines for Common Toxicities of Radiation Therapy

Tuesday, October 23
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Location: Innovation Hub, Exhibit Hall 3

International Survey on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines for Common Toxicities of Radiation Therapy
A. Kuczmarska-Haas1, A. Lee2, M. W. Macomber3, K. Woo4, C. Freese5, and Z. S. Morris Jr6; 1Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, WI, 2Department of Radiation Oncology, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, 3University of Washington Medical Center Department of Radiation Oncology, Seattle, WA, 4Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, 5Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 6Department of Human Oncology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI

Purpose/Objective(s): Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are widely used by cancer patients throughout their treatment course for a variety of reasons. However, little is known about the extent to which these potential remedies are used internationally to treat the most common toxicities of radiation therapy. We report the results of an international survey assessing the use of CAM among practicing radiation oncologists.

Materials/Methods: Surveys were distributed to 1174 practicing radiation oncologists. Questions evaluated the provider’s location, number of years in practice, and perceptions of CAM. The survey also evaluated provider perception on the sources of and barriers to the provision of information on CAM to patients, as well as specific practice patterns for the use of CAM remedies in the treatment of common radiation-induced toxicities (skin, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and mucositis/xerostomia). Responses were stratified based on provider location, number of years in practice, and perception of CAM, and compared between groups using the Chi-square test.

Results: 114 radiation oncologists from 29 different countries completed this survey, with a balanced distribution between North American (n=56) and non-North American providers (n=58). Among the responding clinicians, 63% recommended CAM in their practice. The proportion of clinicians recommending CAM for radiation toxicities did not significantly vary when stratified by provider’s number of years in practice (p = 0.23) or by location (US/Canada versus other; p = 0.74). Overall, providers reported that 29.4% of their patients use CAM and 87.7% reported that their practice encouraged or was neutral on CAM use, whereas 12.3% recommended stopping CAM. The most common sources of patient information on CAM were the internet (75.4%), friends (60.5%), and family (58.8%). Clinicians reported the highest use of CAM for radiation skin toxicity at 66.7%, with reported CAM use rates of 48.2% for fatigue, 40.4% for nausea, 21.9% for diarrhea, and 36.8% for mucositis/xerostomia. The most common CAM remedies reported were aloe vera products (n=32) for skin toxicity, exercise (n=15) for fatigue, ginger (n=19) for nausea, probiotics (n=13) for diarrhea, and acupuncture (n=6) for mucositis/xerostomia.

Conclusion: This cross-sectional survey of radiation oncologists provides novel insights on the use and physician perceptions of CAM for treatment of radiation-related toxicities across international practices. Nearly 2/3 of respondents recommend CAM for radiation-related toxicities, however, these physicians estimate that less than 1/3 patients utilize CAM for this purpose. This suggests a need for more discussion between patients and radiation oncologists regarding CAM and for further investigation and patient education on the roles of CAM in treating radiation toxicities.

Author Disclosure: A. Kuczmarska-Haas: None. A. Lee: None. M.W. Macomber: None. C. Freese: None. Z.S. Morris: None.

Send Email for Aleksandra Kuczmarska-Haas


Assets

TU_40_3710 - International Survey on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines for Common Toxicities of Radiation Therapy



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for International Survey on the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicines for Common Toxicities of Radiation Therapy