Quality-of-life outcomes in patients with gynecologic cancer referred to integrative oncology treatment during chemotherapy

Eran Ben-Arye, Noah Samuels, Elad Schiff, Orit Gressel Raz, Ilanit Shalom Sharabi, Ofer Lavie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Integrative oncology incorporates complementary medicine (CM) therapies in patients with cancer. We explored the impact of an integrative oncology therapeutic regimen on quality-of-life (QOL) outcomes in women with gynecological cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Patients and methods: A prospective preference study examined patients referred by oncology health care practitioners (HCPs) to an integrative physician (IP) consultation and CM treatments. QOL and chemotherapy-related toxicities were evaluated using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale (ESAS) and Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing (MYCAW) questionnaire, at baseline and at a 6–12-week follow-up assessment. Adherence to the integrative care (AIC) program was defined as ≥4 CM treatments, with ≤30 days between each session. Results: Of 128 patients referred by their HCP, 102 underwent IP consultation and subsequent CM treatments. The main concerns expressed by patients were fatigue (79.8 %), gastrointestinal symptoms (64.6 %), pain and neuropathy (54.5 %), and emotional distress (45.5 %). Patients in both AIC (n = 68) and non-AIC (n = 28) groups shared similar demographic, treatment, and cancer-related characteristics. ESAS fatigue scores improved by a mean of 1.97 points in the AIC group on a scale of 0–10 and worsened by a mean of 0.27 points in the non-AIC group (p = 0.033). In the AIC group, MYCAW scores improved significantly (p < 0.0001) for each of the leading concerns as well as for well-being, a finding which was not apparent in the non-AIC group. Conclusions: An IP-guided CM treatment regimen provided to patients with gynecological cancer during chemotherapy may reduce cancer-related fatigue and improve other QOL outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3411-3419
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Volume23
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chemotherapy
  • Complementary medicine
  • Gynecologic oncology
  • Integrative medicine
  • Quality of life

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