Attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine amongst oncology professionals in Brazil

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Journal Article
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2016, 27 pp. 30 - 34
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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are popular amongst cancer patients in the Brazilian context, however little is known about oncology health professionals' attitudes toward the role of CAM and their perspectives on the potential for integration into oncological care. In this study, drawing on a series of interviews with oncology professionals (i.e. doctors, nurses, nutritionists, pharmacologists and psychologists), we provide insight into their views on the rise, validity, and role of CAM in cancer care. The results reveal two key dynamics in relation to CAM in cancer care in Brazil. First, that doctors, nurses and other allied professionals hold considerably different views on the value and place of CAM, and in turn ascribe it varying levels of legitimacy potentially limiting integration. Second, that while some health professionals may articulate a degree of support for CAM, this is limited by perceptions of CAM as lacking efficacy and intruding on their respective jurisdictional claims. Further research is needed in the Brazilian context to explore patient and professional perspectives on experiences on CAM in cancer care, including how oncology professionals' varying positions on CAM may influence what patients are prepared to use, or discuss, in the context of cancer care.
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