Dealing with cancer can be as much a mental battle as it is a physical one. The stress of a cancer diagnosis can weigh heavily on a patient’s mind. Anything that can relieve some of this stress and give a boost to the mental health of those trying to recover from cancer is always welcome.
It’s good health news then that a recent study out of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Pennsylvania has found proof that there’s a way to bolster confidence and a positive outlook in those diagnosed with cancer. According to researchers, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) helps many cancer patients feel more positive about their
It’s well-known that cancer patients extensively use CAM in combination with other treatments. However, according to the research team at Penn University, no one has yet documented what impact a belief in CAM therapy has on a cancer patient’s overall outlook about their illness.
For their study, the researchers were able to develop a unique way of measuring attitudes and beliefs about CAM therapies. They used what they called a “15-item instrument” based on an established theory of planned behavior as a framework. The instrument was pieced together using expert content review, along with cognitive interviews of the patients. The researchers named the attitude-measuring instrument “ABCAM” and administered it to 317 outpatient oncology patients.
ABCAM basically had a three-factor structure: it attempted to measure expected benefits, perceived barriers, and subjective norms related to CAM use by cancer patients. The researchers found — as they expected — that CAM users had higher expected benefits, lower perceived barriers, and more positive beliefs about their recovery than those who did not use CAM.
Sounds like the road to recovery is not just about whether a particular treatment specifically improves a physical symptom, but also its ability to make a patient feel confident that they can and will get better.
For info about alternative treatments for treating all kinds of health problems, read the article Chances Are Your Doctor Has Never Heard of This Amazing Way of Treating Your Symptoms.