PhD Scientific Days 2021

Budapest, 7-8 July 2021

MH_II_L: Mental Health Sciences II. Lectures

Characteristics of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Hungarian Breast Cancer Patients in Perioperative Phase

Zsuzsa Koncz1, Zoltán Mátrai2, Zsuzsa Győrffy3
1 Semmelweis University, Doctoral School of Mental Health Sciences, Budapest
2 National Institute of Oncology, Department of Breast and Sarcoma Surgery, Budapest
3 Semmelweis University, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Budapest

Text of the abstract

Introduction: The popularity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has grown significantly during the recent decades. 45% of women diagnosed with breast cancer and 62.5% of young women with breast cancer use CAM. Since utilization of CAM carries risks due to drug interactions, it is extremely important to assess its frequency and psychological and clinical context. We have little data on CAM use in Hungary.

Aims: Our main goal is to expand our knowledge on the use of CAM among Hungarian breast cancer patients and its background in order to improve oncological care and design appropriate psycho-oncological interventions.

Methods: Our questionnaire was performed at the Department of Breast and Sarcoma Surgery of the National Institute of Oncology among female patients awaiting surgery for breast cancer (n = 146). In the questionnaire, in addition to sociodemographic data, we asked for anamnestic data, perceived social support, attitudes and use towards CAM, and psychological indicators (depression, anxiety, coping, health control). Clinical data were also added to the database.

Result: 31% of respondents were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, 61% with locally advanced stage, and 3% with advanced stage. 70.5% of the respondents use CAM preparations and 63.7% rehearse self-help practices. Most patients collected information about CAM from healthcare professionals. Holistic approach to health, as well as internal and social external control characterise the sample. Patients visited CAM providers are more sympathetic to naturopathy, are more likely to have internal control, and they judge their own health status more favorably. CAM preparation users are also more likely to have internal control. Depression and anxiety values increased in the sample.

Conclusion: The use of CAM is significant among Hungarian breast cancer patients. Our results indicate that patients not only have a dominant need for control, but also listen extensively to their physician, and that their emotional needs determine their therapeutic choices. Based on the knowledge of the mental state and needs, we can create adequate psychological interventions and integrate them into the oncology treatment process, which can significantly improve both the doctor-patient relationship and patient care.

Funding: SEMMELWEIS UNIVERSITY, Doctoral School of Mental Health Sciences

University and Doctoral School

Semmelweis University, Doctoral School of Mental Health Sciences