Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Cancer Patients with Depression and Anxiety: Critical Analysis

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Social Work Master's Clinical Research Papers

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Murie, Anna
UST Research Online
complementary and alternative therapy; cancer patients; Clinical and Medical Social Work; Social Work; CLIC thesis
paper description
Cancer is a life threatening disease that has many psychological and physical effects on the patient population. Fifty-five percent of cancer patients reported at least mild levels of depression and sixty-four percent reported at least mild levels of anxiety (Salvo et al., 2012). A review of the literature suggested that complementary and alternative therapies have positive effects on relieving depression and anxiety in cancer patients. This research is looking to address the importance of complementary and alternative therapy use with cancer patients. Qualitative interviews were conducted with seven oncology social workers. The research used an inductive grounded theory method. The transcripts were analyzed and coded for themes. There were similarities and differences between the research findings and the literature review. Similarities that were found were participant’s sense of control as a positive outcome and mental health relief for patients. Differences that were found were distraction as a positive outcome, stigma and preconceived notions and time limitations and interruptions affect practice. Further research is needed to address the differences between the findings and the literature review and to further explore time and stigma limitations complementary and alternative therapies face.