Development of Evidence-Based Chinese Medicine Clinical Service Recommendations for Cancer Palliative Care Using Delphi Approach Based on the Evidence to Decision Framework.

SAGE Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Integrative cancer therapies, 2020, 19
Issue Date:
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Objectives: Existing evidence supports the use of certain Chinese medicine (CM) interventions for symptom management among palliative cancer patients. However, evidence-based service recommendations tailored to the local context are needed for CM planning and implementation. In response, we aimed to establish consensus on CM clinical service recommendations for cancer palliative care among Hong Kong experts. Methods: Seven CM interventions showing statistically significant favorable results in existing systematic reviews (SRs) and overviews of SRs were subjected to a GRADE-ADOLOPMENT-based 2-round Delphi survey. Twelve Hong Kong experts in cancer palliative care, including conventionally trained physicians, CM practitioners, and nurses (n = 4 from each category), were invited to participate. Use of the Evidence to Decision framework within the GRADE-ADOLOPMENT approach enabled experts to consider aspects of problem priority, benefits, harms, equity, acceptability, and feasibility when making CM recommendations in cancer palliative care. Results: Three evidence-based CM interventions reached positive consensus as service recommendations, namely: (1) acupuncture for reducing fatigue among palliative cancer patients; (2) acupressure for reducing fatigue among palliative cancer patients; and (3) moxibustion for reducing nausea and vomiting among patients receiving chemotherapy. Median rating of recommendation ranged from 2.5 to 3.0 (interquartile range = 0.00-1.00) on a 4-point Likert-type scale, and the percentage agreement ranged from 83.4% to 91.7%. Conclusions: The GRADE-ADOLOPMENT approach facilitates a consensus-based process of reaching 3 evidence-based CM recommendations for cancer palliative care. Future studies may develop tailored strategies to implement these recommendations in the Hong Kong health system.
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