Research Topics

Genomes and Genes


Socioeconomic Diversity of CAM Integration in Oncology


Principal Investigator: June L Chan
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (Provided by applicant): Socioeconomic Diversity of CAM Integration in Oncology: The goal of the proposed project is to examine the effectiveness of an existing CAM program within a unique multidisciplinary outpatient cancer clinic setting that serves 2 distinct patient populations. The underlying hypotheses are that: 1) characterizing patient participation in available CAM programs (what programs are used, and when and why they are used) is feasible and 2) perceived facilitators and barriers to CAM use, specific CAM modality preferences, and quality of life are influenced by patient socioeconomic status and ethnicity. The first specific aim is to determine the nature and effects of CAM integration in our patient population. This will be accomplished by documenting patient participation in an introductory seminar - "Boost Camp" - as well as the various CAM programs available at out facility. The second specific aim is to compare and contrast 2 programs serving distinct socioeconomic groups. This will be accomplished through detailed questionnaires designed to capture information such as perceived facilitators and barriers to CAM use, and prospective measures of health-related quality of life. This is a prospective cohort study, with a target accrual of 300 patients within 2 years. In the past year, approximately 1500 patients have been seen for oncology consults by the cancer centers represented in this study. Of those, it is estimated that 500 patients participated in at least one of the available CAM programs offered. Study participants will be assessed with a baseline questionnaire to capture information on demographics, socioeconomic status, disease specifics, and facilitators/barriers to CAM use. During the course of the study, patient participation in "Boost Camp" and chosen CAM programs will be monitored. Subjects will also complete the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Scale-General (FACT-G) designed to quantitatively measure quality of life (QOL). The information gathered in this study will provide insight into the way different populations perceive and use CAM, as well as identify potential obstacles to integrating CAM in an oncology setting. Given the growing utilization of CAM, this project will lay the foundation for understanding the needs of our patient population and will provide necessary preliminary data to be further studied in randomized clinical trials.
Funding Period: 2001-09-17 - 2004-08-31
more information: NIH RePORT