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August 2019

Eur J Cancer. 1995 Oct; 31A(11): 1785-9.

The use of non-proven therapy among patients treated in Norwegian oncological departments. A cross-sectional national multicentre study.

Risberg T, Lund E, Wist E, Dahl O, Sundstrøm S, Andersen OK, Kaasa S.

Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Tromsø, Norway.

A national multicentre study was performed to investigate the prevalent use of "alternative medicine", here called "non-proven therapies (NPT)", applied among Norwegian cancer patients. Of 911 patients invited to take part in the study, 642 were included in the analysis. Demographic characteristics were collected for all patients. The participating physicians gave information about the patients' clinical characteristics. Among 630 evaluable patients, 20% had been or were present users of NPTs for their oncological disease. The preferred methods were healing by hand and faith healing. Herbs, vitamins, diets and Iscador were other popular methods. As many as 40% of the users of NPTs had used NPTs earlier for non-malignant diseases. Elderly patients were less likely to use NPTs. Use was high in the northern part of Norway.

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