Integrative oncology uses complementary approaches alongside conventional medical therapy to improve quality of life, improve outcomes and reduce the risk of recurrence. The Calista2 survey sought to identify, understand, and rank cancer patients’ expectations and utilization of supportive care and activities. Accessibility of such supportive care was also assessed.
The 82 physicians who accepted to take part in the survey recruited 666 patients. Inclusion criteria were: patients already on specific therapy for breast cancer (BC), colorectal cancer (CC) or lung cancer (LC). Patient questionnaires were self-reported. Questions covered drug management of pain, fatigue, adverse effects of treatments (AE), and sleep disorders, social and psychological support, physical activities, and complementary and alternative medicines. Questionnaires were collected between September 2016 and October 2017. This analysis focuses on the patients' expectations, the supportive care or activity made available to patients, and how they were used.
After exclusion of non-valid patient questionnaires, 467 were analyzed. All cancer localizations combined, patients rated the medical management of adverse events (AE) and pain as highly important (>7/10). Of the 18 items considered, physical activity and management of fatigue were rated as moderately important (5-7/10). The different types of supportive care or activity provided included predominantly the management of adverse events (AE, 81%) and pain (72%), psychological support (56%), and diet/nutrition (49%). Patients primarily used drug management of AE (72%) and pain (61%), diet/nutrition (34%), and self-image improvement techniques (31%). There is a lack of availability of complementary medicine, fatigue management, and relaxation techniques according to 28%, 27% and 24% of patients, respectively.
In our sample, the complementary approaches currently available practically satisfied patient requirements with regards to management of AE and pain. However, these findings also highlight the need for greater access to fatigue management, complementary medicine, and relaxation techniques.
Clinical trial identification
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Medical writing assistance was provided by Potentiel d’Action (France).
H. Simon, G.M. Ganem, H. Naman, J.F. Morère, F. Eisinger: Honorarium: Roche. C. Lhomel: Employee: Roche. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.