School of Chinese Medicine
Cancer patients' attitudes towards Chinese medicine: A Hong Kong survey
Background: This article reports a survey conducted in Hong Kong on the cancer patients' attitudes towards Chinese medicine treatment.Methods: Cancer patients from three Chinese medicine clinics and one oncology clinic were interviewed with a structured questionnaire.Results: Of a total of 786 participants included in the study, 42.9% used Western medicine only; 57.1% used at least one form of Chinese medicine; 5 participants used Chinese medicine only; and 56.5% used Chinese medicine before/during/after Western medicine treatment. Commonly used Western medicine and Chinese medicine treatments included chemotherapy (63.7%), radiotherapy (62.0%), surgery (57.6%), Chinese herbal medicine (53.9%) and Chinese dietary therapy (9.5%). Participants receiving chemotherapy used Chinese medicine (63.3%) more than those receiving any other Western medicine treatments. Spearman correlation coefficients showed that the selection of Chinese medicine was associated with the cancer type (rs = -1.36; P < 0.001), stage (rs = 0.178; P < 0.001), duration (rs = -0.074; P = 0.037), whether receiving chemotherapy (rs = 0.165; P < 0.001) and palliative therapy (rs = 0.087; P = 0.015). Nearly two-thirds of the participants (N = 274) did not tell their physicians about using Chinese medicine. Over two-thirds of all participants (68.2%) believed that integrated Chinese and Western medicine was effective.Conclusion: Chinese medicine is commonly used among Hong Kong cancer patients. The interviewed cancer patients in Hong Kong considered integrative Chinese and Western medicine is an effective cancer treatment. © 2009 Lam et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
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Link to Publisher's Edition
Lam, Yuen-Chi, Chung-Wah Cheng, Heng Peng, Chun-Key Law, Xianzhang Huang, and Zhaoxiang Bian. "Cancer patients' attitudes towards Chinese medicine: A Hong Kong survey." Chinese Medicine 4.25 (2009): 1-8.