Complementary medicine in radiation oncology: German health care professionals’ current qualifications and therapeutic methods

Translated title of the contribution: Complementary medicine in radiation oncology: German health care professionals’ current qualifications and therapeutic methods

Kerstin A. Kessel, Evelyn Klein, Carolin C. Hack, Stephanie E. Combs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Recently, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has moved more into the focus, and cancer societies such as the German Cancer Society (Deutsche Krebsgesellschaft, DKG) have established working groups to develop a guideline for CAM. The present work aims to evaluate the acceptance of CAM in the whole radiation oncology community. Methods: We conducted an online survey on CAM and sent the modified questionnaire that was successfully distributed to all members of the Research Group on Gynecological Oncology (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Gynakologische Onkologie, AGO) of the DKG in 2014 to the members of the German Society of Radiation Oncology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Radioonkologie und Strahlentherapie, DEGRO). The survey consisted of 17 questions regarding personal information and current CAM guidelines within the workplace/clinic. Results: A total of 143 members participated. Of these, 12% had some CAM qualification. For hematological cancer in 35% and in up to 76% for breast cancer, CAM treatment is offered in German radiation oncology facilities, mainly due to fatigue symptoms. CAM is part of routine treatment in 32.2%, 22.0% are planning to incorporate it. Most physicians advise patients to partake in sports activities and recommend dietary supplements and nutritional counseling. The cost of CAM treatment is fully covered in 9.8% of all participating facilities. Conclusion: Today, CAM is integrated into cancer care; however, skepticism regarding its effect still exists. Evidence-based results must be generated to convince physicians of the effectiveness of CAM methods. CAM qualifications must be included in physicians’ training to improve their understanding and counseling regarding CAM options in cancer care.

Translated title of the contributionComplementary medicine in radiation oncology: German health care professionals’ current qualifications and therapeutic methods
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)904-910
Number of pages7
JournalStrahlentherapie und Onkologie
Volume194
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fatigue
  • Integrative medicine
  • Neoplasms
  • Quality of life
  • Surveys and questionnaires

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