Physicians Benefit from Learning about CAM, Cancer

September 10, 2004

1 Min Read
Physicians Benefit from Learning about CAM, Cancer

HAIFA, Israel--A course about the role of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the treatment of cancer was designed and administered to primary care physicians here, according to a review published in the September issue of Integrative Cancer Therapies (3, 3:208-213, 2004) (www.sagepub.co.uk/journal.aspx?pid=105589).

The introductory course, which evolved in response to interest among practicing family physicians and residents, consisted of biweekly meetings and involved family physicians, patients and CAM practitioners. According to the authors of the review, the course was designed to enhance physicians' understanding and attentiveness to patients' reasons for using CAM. Another aim of the course was to educate physicians about current CAM practices used by their patients, particularly as many patients use CAM without their physicians' knowledge. The course outcome was evaluated with an analysis of pre-course and post-course questionnaires. After completing the course, the physicians reported they felt more comfortable with CAM and better able to discuss CAM usage with patients. The physicians also stated they felt more prepared to treat patients with cancer, in general.

The authors concluded the introductory course appeared to be a first step in acknowledging the popularity of CAM among cancer patients and encouraging primary care physicians' familiarity with the use of CAM in cancer care.

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