Cancer Impact, Complementary/Alternative Medicine Beliefs, and Quality of Life in Cancer Patients

Ya Hui Kuo, Shiow Luan Tsay, Chun Chi Chang, Yen Chi Liao, Heng Hsin Tung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships among cancer impact, belief in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), CAM use, and quality of life (QOL). Design: The study used a cross-sectional, descriptive correlational design with convenience sampling. A total of 122 cancer patients participated. Data were collected at a medical center in Chunghua, Taiwan. The questionnaires included the Chinese version of the Cancer Problem in Living Scale (CPILS), Complementary and Alternative Medicine Belief Inventory (CAMBI), Complementary and Alternative Medicine scale, and Chinese versions of QOL scales, including the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G). Results: The mean age was 56.5 years, and most participants were male (n = 69, 56.6%), had completed high school or above (n = 56, 45.9%), and were married (n = 109, 89.3%). The most common type of cancer was oral (n = 17, 13.9%), followed by esophageal (n = 15, 12.3%) and colorectal (n = 13, 10.7%). Cancer patients, on average, use one or two types of CAM. The impact of cancer is significantly related to age (F = 7.12, p < 0.05), and income is related to QOL (F = 3.61, p < 0.05). Pearson correlations showed that the use of CAM was positively associated with belief in CAM (CAMBI) (r = 0.26, p = 0.01), and the impact of cancer was highly negatively associated with QOL (r =-0.71, p = 0.001). The predictors of QOL were the impact of cancer and use of CAM, and the impact of cancer accounted for 51% of the variance in QOL. Conclusion: This study supports research on the impact of cancer, belief in CAM, and use of CAM as related to QOL in cancer patients. These results can be used to provide options to clinicians and cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-281
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • cancer
  • complementary and alternative medicine
  • impact of cancer
  • quality of life


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