Use of complementary and alternative medicine among cancer patients in Israel

Dorit Pud, E. Kaner, A. Morag, S. Ben-Ami, A. Yaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has gained in popularity among cancer patients in recent years. The present study assessed the patterns of CAM use among cancer patients in Israel. The design of the study was descriptive cross-sectional, and data were collected using a 27-item questionnaire. The sample consisted of 111 Israeli cancer patients who were part of a larger European study. Among the participants, past or current CAM use was reported by 32.4% (n = 36). The most common terapies used included herbal medicine (22.2%), spiritual therapies (19.4%), visualization and relaxation techniques (16.7% for each), and vitamins/minerals (13.9%). Younger patients with higher education, higher annual income, and previous standard treatment were more likely to use CAM. The mean satisfaction and perceived effectiveness scores were 5.36±1.37 and 5.48±1.39, respectively, out of a maximum score of 7. The main benefits from CAM reported by patients included improvement in emotional and physical well-being (40% and 34.3%, respectively) and increased ability to fight the disease (31.4%), although 17.1% of patients reported no benefits at all from CAM. The main sources of information about CAM were friends/ family and the media. Findings suggest that due to the relatively high use of CAM among cancer patients, this topic should be taken into account in a holistic approach to this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-130
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Alternative medicine
  • Cancer
  • Complementary medicine
  • Israel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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