Complementary and alternative medicine rituals by men with cancer

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is frequently used in persons with cancer, often with the support of significant others (SOs), but without consultation of healthcare professionals.  As part of her PhD studies, Nadja Klafke explored how men with cancer integrate and maintain CAM use in their everyday life, and how SOs are involved in it.  
To be published in Support Care Cancer Nadja and her supervisors Dr Jaklin Eliott, Professor Ian Olver and Professor Gary Wittert found that men using CAM developed “CAM routines and rituals,”  and it is these routines that provided men with certainty and control during their cancer treatment and with their SOs to counter fear and uncertainty consequent upon a diagnosis of cancer. SOs contributed most to men’s uptake and maintenance of dietary-based CAM routines that promoted interpersonal bonding and enhanced closeness.  This research highlights the value of clinicians conveying these benefits to men, further promoting the safe and effective use of CAM.

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