OBJECTIVE: To assess Australian radiation and medical oncologists' self-reported knowledge about and attitudes towards a range of non-traditional therapies used by people with cancer. DESIGN: Postal survey during May and June 1997 of all 265 radiation and medical oncologists practising in Australia. PARTICIPANTS: 161 oncologists returned surveys (61% response rate).
To review the evidence for efficacy of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities in treating pain, dyspnea, and nausea and vomiting in patients near the end of life, original articles were evaluated following a search through MEDLINE, CancerLIT, AIDSLINE, PsycLIT, CINAHL, and Social Work Abstracts databases. Search terms included alternative medicine, palliative care, pain, dyspnea, and nausea. Two independent reviewers extracted data, including study design, subjects, sample size, age, response rate, CAM modality, and outcomes.
BACKGROUND: Complementary medicine has become an important aspect of palliative cancer care. This overview is primarily aimed at providing guidance to clinicians regarding some commonly used complementary therapies. METHODS: Several complementary therapies were identified as particularly relevant to palliative cancer care. Exemplary studies and, where available, systematic reviews are discussed. RESULTS: Promising results exist for some treatments, e.g. acupuncture, enzyme therapy, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, and relaxation techniques.
BACKGROUND: Biopsychosocial treatments address the range of physical, psychological, and social components of chronic pain. OBJECTIVE: This review sought to determine how effective unimodal and multimodal biopsychosocial approaches are in the treatment of chronic pain. METHODOLOGY: The literature search identified three systematic reviews of the literature and 21 randomized controlled trials to provide the evidence for this review. RESULTS: The systematic reviews and 12 randomized controlled trials reported on chronic low back pain.
There is evidence that hypnotherapy may have an application in the palliative care setting by relieving stress and helping patients to cope with their illness and the prospect of dying. It may also be of benefit to health professionals working in this sometimes stressful field. This article reports on the audit of a pilot hypnotherapy service for patients, carers and staff at a specialist palliative care unit. The audit explored the demand for hypnotherapy, the practicalities of providing the service and identified benefits as perceived by the clients and the therapist.
The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
This intensive case study used an A-B time-series analysis design to examine whether 5 adult patients with various AIDS-related pain symptoms benefited from a hypnosis-based pain management approach. The 3 dependent variables in this study were: (a) self-ratings of the severity of pain, (b) self-ratings of the percentage of time spent in pain, and (c) amount of p.r.n. pain medication taken. Data were collected over a period of 12 weeks, including a 1-week baseline period and an 11-week treatment period.
Increasing numbers of people have been supplementing their health care needs with complementary therapies. Complementary therapies have been used to promote health and treat patients with a variety of ailments. Types of complementary therapies used with terminally ill patients have included massage, therapeutic touch, Reiki, art and music therapy, aromatherapy, and hypnotherapy. The purpose of this study was to survey primary caregivers (PCGs) regarding their perceptions and satisfaction with a hospice complementary therapy program.
The purpose of the present study was to conduct a Phase I investigation examining the feasibility and acceptability of a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) package combining acupuncture and hypnosis for chronic pediatric pain. Thirty-three sequentially referred children (21 girls) aged 6-18 years were offered 6 weekly sessions consisting of individually tailored acupuncture treatment together with a 20-minute hypnosis session (conducted while the needles were in place).
The World Health Organization defines palliative care as "the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment." One of the primary issues of palliative care for patients with advanced cancer is symptom control and quality-of-life issues. The purpose of the hypnotic model presented here is to improve the patient's total psychological, social, and spiritual well-being. There exists a need for a broad and inclusive model of mind-body interventions for palliative care.