Information and training needs regarding complementary and alternative medicine : a cross-sectional study of cancer care providers in Germany

  • Background: Among cancer care providers (CCPs), lack of knowledge constitutes an important barrier to the discussion of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use with patients. This study assessed CCPs’ needs and preferences regarding CAM information and training (I&T). Methods: An online survey was completed by 209 general practitioners, 437 medical specialists, 159 oncology nurses and medical assistants, and 244 psychologists and social workers engaged in cancer care. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to identify subgroups of individuals with distinct preference patterns regarding I&T content. Results: CCPs prefer CAM I&T to be provided as lectures, information platforms on the internet, workshops, and e-mail newsletters. Concerning subject matters, many CCPs considered CAM therapy options for the treatment of a variety of cancer disease- and therapy-related symptoms to be very important (75%-72% of the sample); the same applies to an "overview of different CAM therapies" (74%). LCA identified 5 latent classes (LCs) of CCPs. All of them attached considerable importance to "medical indication," "potential side effects," and "tips for usage." LCs differed, however, in terms of overall importance ratings, the perceived importance of "patients’ reasons" for using specific CAM therapies, "case examples," and "scientific evidence." Notably, the 5 LCs were clearly present in all 4 occupational groups. Conclusions: CAM I&T should provide CCPs with an overview of different CAM therapies and show how CAM might help in treating symptoms cancer patients frequently demonstrate (eg, fatigue). Moreover, I&T programs should be flexible and take into account that individual information needs vary even within the same occupational group.
Author:Gudrun Klein, Corina GüthlinGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Integrative cancer therapies
Place of publication:Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Contributor(s):Phillip Elliott
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2016
Date of first Publication:2016/09/01
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/02/14
Tag:cancer care; cancer care providers; complementary and alternative medicine; continuing education; information needs; training
Page Number:8
First Page:380
Last Page:387
Creative Commons Non Commercial CC-BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung 3.0