Factors associated with discontinuation of complementary and alternative medicine among korean cancer patients

So Young Kim, Kyung Sook Kim, Jong Hyock Park, Ji Yeon Shin, Sung Kyeong Kim, Jae Hyun Park, Eun Cheol Park, Hong Gwan Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine patient characteristics and other factors associated with discontinuation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among cancer patients in Korea. Methods: A national, multicenter, cross-sectional survey of cancer patients was performed in which 674 of 2,661 patients were analyzed for their use of CAM after cancer diagnosis. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify the factors related to CAM discontinuation. Results: Among the surveyed cancer patients, 25.3% (674 of 2,661) had used CAM, whereas 38.3% (258 of 674) of those with CAM experience had discontinued CAM therapy. The most frequently used form of CAM was herbs (43.5%). The major reasons for the discontinuation of CAM included absence of effects (23.9%), financial burden (22.9%), and physician opposition (13.7%). Other factors associated with the discontinuation of CAM included metastatic cancer (OR = 2.06), a long duration of cancer treatment (OR = 3.34), dissatisfaction (OR = 4.34), and side effects (OR = 4.23) of CAM therapy. Conclusions: For cancer patients to correctly employ CAM therapy, increase their satisfaction, andreduce their side effects, efforts should be made to analyze the costeffectiveness of CAM, and valid information must be provided to physicians and cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Cancer Research

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