While the evidence behind effectiveness of complementary therapies is increasing, patients' interest in complementary care is frequently driven by factors other than evidence of efficacy alone and reflects a desire for a different model of care and a different relationship with a health care provider. Patients who seek complementary care tend to be different demographically to those who do not and are more likely female, younger, more highly educated and earning a higher income. Seekers of complementary therapies are more likely to suffer from depression and have poorer physical quality of life. There are multiple barriers to access to complementary care, both provider and patient related. These relate to the insufficient awareness by providers regarding the evidence behind specific therapies or their interactions with conventional care, as well as the expectations placed upon conventional care providers regarding what their role might be. Little is known about how much information patients expect conventional health professionals to provide and there is little agreement on how much would be considered reasonable by the providers themselves. Greater collaboration and communication between complementary and conventional care providers would assist, not only in overcoming the barriers of access, but also building the body of evidence on the potential efficacy of complementary interventions in cancer.
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2011|