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Decisions to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by male cancer patients: information-seeking roles and types of evidence used

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, August 2007
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2 tweeters

Citations

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90 Dimensions

Readers on

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144 Mendeley
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5 CiteULike
Title
Decisions to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by male cancer patients: information-seeking roles and types of evidence used
Published in
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, August 2007
DOI 10.1186/1472-6882-7-25
Pubmed ID
Authors

Maggie Evans, Alison Shaw, Elizabeth A Thompson, Stephen Falk, Pat Turton, Trevor Thompson, Deborah Sharp

Abstract

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is increasingly popular with cancer patients and yet information provision or discussion about CAM by health professionals remains low. Previous research suggests that patients may fear clinicians' 'disapproval' if they raise the subject of CAM, and turn to other sources to acquire information about CAM. However, little empirical research has been conducted into how cancer patients acquire, and, more importantly evaluate CAM information before deciding which CAM therapies to try. Qualitative study, comprising semi-structured interviews with 43 male cancer patients of varying ages, cancer type and stage of illness, 34 of whom had used CAM. They were recruited from a range of NHS and non-NHS settings in Bristol, England. As a result of the lack of CAM information from health professionals, men in this study became either 'pro-active seekers' or 'passive recipients' of such information. Their main information resource was the 'lay referral' network of family, friends and acquaintances, especially females. 'Traditional' information sources, including books, magazines, leaflets and the media were popular, more so in fact than the internet. Views on the internet ranged from enthusiasm or healthy scepticism through to caution or disinterest. CAM information was generally regarded as 'empowering' as it broadened treatment and self-care options. A minority of participants were information averse fearing additional choices that might disrupt their fragile ability to cope. There was general consensus that CAM information should be available via the NHS, to give it a 'stamp of approval', which combined with guidance from informed health professionals, could help patients to make 'guided' choices. However, a small minority of these men valued the independence of CAM from the NHS and deliberately sought 'alternative' information sources and treatment options. Men were selective in identifying particular therapies to use and sceptical about others, basing their choices on forms of 'evidence' that were personally meaningful: personal stories of individuals who had been helped by CAM; the long history and enduring popularity of some therapies; the plausibility of the mechanism of action; a belief or trust in individual therapies or their providers; scientific evidence. Scientific evidence ranked low in the men's personal decision-making about CAM, while it was recognised as important for NHS support for CAM. These male cancer patients valued the support and guidance of 'trusted individuals' in making choices about CAM. Trusted health professionals could also play a significant role in helping patients to make informed choices. Any such dialogue must, however, acknowledge the different standards of evidence used by patients and clinicians to evaluate the benefits or otherwise of CAM therapies. Such open communication could help to foster an environment of mutual trust where patients are encouraged to discuss their interest in CAM, rather than perpetuate covert, undisclosed use of CAM with its attendant potential hazards.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 144 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Colombia 2 1%
Canada 2 1%
United Kingdom 2 1%
United States 2 1%
Italy 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
Unknown 133 92%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 26 18%
Student > Ph. D. Student 22 15%
Student > Master 22 15%
Student > Bachelor 19 13%
Student > Doctoral Student 9 6%
Other 46 32%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 64 44%
Social Sciences 15 10%
Nursing and Health Professions 13 9%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 13 9%
Unspecified 11 8%
Other 28 19%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 23 December 2018.
All research outputs
#10,027,276
of 13,116,247 outputs
Outputs from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
#1,660
of 2,648 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#182,814
of 264,289 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
#1
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 13,116,247 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 20th percentile – i.e., 20% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,648 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a little more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 6.9. This one is in the 31st percentile – i.e., 31% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
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