Symptom severity, symptom interference and use of complementary and alternative medicine among survivors of colorectal and breast cancer after curative treatment in Taiwan

Hsiu Ju Wu, Chen Jei Tai, Cheng Jeng Tai, Li Yin Chien

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This study compared symptom severity, symptom interference and use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) between cancer survivors after curative treatment and individuals who did not have cancer. Factors associated with CAM use among cancer survivors were examined. A cross-sectional survey was conducted of 146 cancer survivors (77 breast and 69 colorectal cancer survivors who had completed conventional treatment 1–5 years previously and were cancer-free) from a hospital's cancer registration system (survivor group), and 161 healthy individuals without cancer (comparison group). The two groups were frequency-matched for sex and age. Findings indicated higher use of CAM in the survivor group (54.1%) than the comparison group (36.6%). There were no significant differences in overall symptom severity and interference between the two groups. Multivariate logistic regression showed that prior use of CAM (OR = 5.14, 95% CI: 2.34–10.69) and higher symptom interference (OR = 1.04, 95% CI: 1.001–1.08) were positively related to CAM use in the survivor group. The survivors did not have higher symptom severity and symptom interference with daily life, but were more likely to use CAM than the comparison group. Medical staff should discuss symptom interference and use of CAM with cancer survivors to guide them in the appropriate use of CAM.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12925
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • cancer survivors
  • complementary and alternative medicine
  • symptom interference
  • symptom severity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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