Evaluating complementary therapies
The nature and complexities of complementary therapies and their underpinning philosophical approaches present a challenge to the research community. Some complementary therapies have the potential to provide supportive (such as quality of life) benefits and symptom relief in patients with cancer. Evidence for their effectiveness from randomised controlled trials is limited due to the lack of trials of high methodological quality. Nonetheless, in an increasingly evidence-based treatment culture, healthcare professionals and people with cancer will need to have access to the best-available evidence on the effectiveness of complementary therapies. This chapter presents a summary of the current research findings, considers the methodological challenges and safety issues, and provides resources for further details. Complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, massage, aromatherapy, and yoga, have the potential to provide some relief for the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatments. These symptoms range from breathlessness to hot flushes, dry mouth problems due to chemotherapy, nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy, and pain. Plant-based treatments for cancer are also discussed.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.