Patients with terminal cancer who use alternative therapies: their beliefs and practices

Yates, Patsy M., Beadle, Geoffrey, Clavarino, Alexandra, Najman, Jake M., Thomson, Damien, Williams, Gail, Kenny, Lisbeth, Roberts, Sydney, Mason, Bernard, & Schlect, David (1993) Patients with terminal cancer who use alternative therapies: their beliefs and practices. Sociology of Health & Illness, 15(2), pp. 199-216.

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This paper examines the extent to which patients who have been diagnosed as having terminal cancer choose to use non-medical therapies. In particular it is concerned with the illness behaviour of patients who are receiving conventional cytotoxic drug and radiation treatments, who also decide to use a wide range of ‘alternative’ medications and therapies. The paper discusses the findings of a study of 152 patients with metastatic cancer that examined the extent to which they used alternative cancer therapies, as well as the beliefs and attitudes they have about their cancer, its treatment, and the practitioners providing that treatment. Four groups of users of alternative therapies, who differ according to their commitment to and the type of therapies they use, were identified. Results of logistic regression analyses indicate that those using alternative therapies were different in range of social attitudes. These differences were primarily their greater reported ‘will to live’ and desire for control over treatment decisions, and the differing beliefs they hold about their disease.

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ID Code: 61879
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.ep11346886
ISSN: 1467-9566
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Deposited On: 18 Aug 2013 23:13
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2013 23:16

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