Determining complementary and alternative medicine methods used by paediatric haematology–oncology patients

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Abstract

Determining complementary and alternative medicine methods used by paediatric haematology–oncology patients

Aim.

To determine the complementary and alternative medicine methods used by paediatric haematology–oncology patients.

Background.

Complementary and alternative treatment methods have become attractive to patients around the world in recent years, even though the benefits may not have been proven scientifically.

Method.

This descriptive study was undertaken in the haematology–oncology services and clinics of Children’s Hospital between the dates of March 1–July 31 2009. A total of 110 patients’ families participated.

Results.

Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests were used. It was found that 76·4% of the paediatric oncology patients were being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, 87·3% of the patients’ families were satisfied with the medical treatment that their children had received and 97·3% were benefiting from complementary and alternative medicine methods.

Conclusion.

Families were mostly familiar with prayer, imagery, herbal treatment and massage methods and they used mostly prayer, imagery, massage and herbal treatment methods, respectively.

Relevance to clinical practice.

Healthcare professionals should have knowledge about CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) usage and methods. It is very important that medical staff discuss CAM usage with their patients and families because medical treatment may be delayed or discontinued.

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