Complementary and alternative medicine provider use and expenditures by cancer treatment phase

OBJECTIVE: To assess the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers and the associated expenditures by specific treatment phases among patients with cancer. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of medical services utilization and expenditures during the 3 therapeutic phases of initial, continuing, and end-of-life life treatment. METHODS: Analysis of an insurance claims database that had been matched to the Washington State Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registry. RESULTS: Of 2900 registry-matched patients, 63.2% were female, the median age was 54 years, and 92.7% were of white race/ethnicity. Breast cancer was the most frequent diagnosis (52.7%), followed by prostate cancer (24.7%), lung cancer (10.1%), colon cancer (7.0%), and hematologic malignancies (5.6%). Patients using CAM providers represented 26.5%. The proportion of patients using CAM was similar during each treatment phase. All patients used some conventional care. Age, female sex, breast cancer diagnosis, and white race/ethnicity were significant predictors of CAM use. Diagnosis of a musculoskeletal problem occurred at some time during the study for 72.1% of patients. CAM provider visits represented 7.2% of total outpatient medical visits, and 85.1% of CAM visits resulted in a musculoskeletal diagnosis. Expenditures for CAM providers were 0.3%, 1.0%, and 0.1% of all expenditures during the initial, continuing, and end-of-life phases, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: For patients with cancer, musculoskeletal issues were the most commonly listed diagnosis made by a CAM provider. Although expenditures associated with CAM are a small proportion of the total, additional studies are necessary to determine the importance that patients place on access to these services.

Lafferty, William E.
Tyree, Patrick T.
Devlin, Sean M.
Andersen, M. Robyn
Diehr, Paula K.
Item Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Title: 
The American Journal of Managed Care
Journal Abbreviation: 
Am J Manag Care
Publication Date: 
May 2008
Publication Year: 
Library Catalog: 
NCBI Published Medical (?)
PMID: 18471036 PMCID: PMC2587209

Turabian/Chicago Citation

William E. Lafferty, Patrick T. Tyree, Sean M. Devlin, M. Robyn Andersen and Paula K. Diehr. May 2008. "Complementary and alternative medicine provider use and expenditures by cancer treatment phase." The American Journal of Managed Care 14: 5: 326-334.

Wikipedia Citation

<ref> {{Cite journal | doi = | issn = 1936-2692 | volume = 14 | pages = 326-334 | last = Lafferty | first = William E. | coauthors = Tyree, Patrick T., Devlin, Sean M., Andersen, M. Robyn, Diehr, Paula K. | title = Complementary and alternative medicine provider use and expenditures by cancer treatment phase | journal = The American Journal of Managed Care | date = May 2008 | pmid = | pmc = }} </ref>