One hand cannot clap - A study of Arab practitioners of traditional and complementary medicine in Israel: Identifying barriers to integrative oncology care

Ariela Popper-Giveon, Elad Schiff, David Hatem, Noah Samuels, Eran Ben-Arye*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The integration of complementary medicine is gradually becoming an accepted part of standard care for patients with cancer. In our integrative oncology program, we have encountered difficulties in recruiting Arab patients. In order to understand the special needs of this population, we conducted interviews among Arab practitioners of complementary and traditional medicine (CTM). The characteristics of practitioners and their views regarding the therapeutic process were examined. Methods: Semi-structured qualitative interviews were administered to 27 Arab practitioners of CTM whose clientele was comprised primarily of Arab cancer patients. Conventional content analysis of the transcribed interviews and field notes was performed in order to identify key themes. Result: Three groups of CTM practice were identified: Folkherbal medicine (n = 9), complementary medicine (CM; n = 14), and religious healing (n = 4). Seven factors were identified in the practitioner accounts: the duration and scheduling of treatment sessions, the language of communication, the presence of family members, the appearance of the practitioner, the definition of treatment goals, the discussion of behavioral and lifestyle changes, and finally, the use of tangible elements in treatment. Conclusions: The study of Arab CTM practitioner recommendations may help facilitate a culture-sensitive encounter with Arab patients with cancer. This approach may also have implications for other ethno-culturally unique populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-371
Number of pages8
JournalExplore
Volume10
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alternative medicine
  • Arabs in Israel
  • Complementary medicine
  • Integrative oncology
  • Traditional medicine

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'One hand cannot clap - A study of Arab practitioners of traditional and complementary medicine in Israel: Identifying barriers to integrative oncology care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this