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Quality of life during mistletoe therapy of cancer patients – An exploratory study with the additional use of questionnaires


Brandenberger, M; Simões-Wüst, P; Rostock, M; Rist, L; Saller, R (2011). Quality of life during mistletoe therapy of cancer patients – An exploratory study with the additional use of questionnaires. Phytomedicine, 18(Suppl 1):S15.

Abstract

Purpose: Several questionnaire-based clinical studies have shown that mistletoe therapy (MT) as part of a multi-modal therapeutic approach may improve patients’ quality-of-life (QoL). The purpose of this study was to provide qualitative information on the nature of this improvement.

Methods: This exploratory, prospective, cohort-study was authorized by the ethics committee of canton Zurich and included 25 patients with different types of cancer. The patients filled in the EORTC QLQ-C30 Version 3.0 QoL questionnaire at the beginning of MT (n = 25) and 3 months later (n = 21). If patients agreed, they were interviewed by the researchers on both occasions (n = 17); the interviews were transcribed verbatim and submitted to a qualitative content analysis (n = 12).

Results: The results obtained with EORTC QLQ-C30 showed significant improvements of several questionnaire-subscales. Analysis of the interviews revealed that most patients adopted MT with a supportive goal, with all patients making use of conventional therapies. After 3 months of MT, most interviewed patients reported some improvements of their QoL, which were often related to a higher vitality and autonomy. MT was often seen as a chance to make an own personal contribution to the therapy. Concrete personal achievements such as changes in the private and/or professional environment were spontaneously mentioned by the patients, not only illustrating their improvements in QoL, but also reflecting a stronger vitality and a superior coping with the disease.

Conclusions: Our observations suggest that MT, with its various components – mistletoe preparation, repeated (self-)injection, CAM-setting with intensive personal contact with health professionals – and as part of a multi-modal therapy seems to contribute to an improvement in QoL and a superior coping with cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; Mistletoe; Quality of life; Qualitative research; Interviews; EORTC QLQ-C30

Abstract

Purpose: Several questionnaire-based clinical studies have shown that mistletoe therapy (MT) as part of a multi-modal therapeutic approach may improve patients’ quality-of-life (QoL). The purpose of this study was to provide qualitative information on the nature of this improvement.

Methods: This exploratory, prospective, cohort-study was authorized by the ethics committee of canton Zurich and included 25 patients with different types of cancer. The patients filled in the EORTC QLQ-C30 Version 3.0 QoL questionnaire at the beginning of MT (n = 25) and 3 months later (n = 21). If patients agreed, they were interviewed by the researchers on both occasions (n = 17); the interviews were transcribed verbatim and submitted to a qualitative content analysis (n = 12).

Results: The results obtained with EORTC QLQ-C30 showed significant improvements of several questionnaire-subscales. Analysis of the interviews revealed that most patients adopted MT with a supportive goal, with all patients making use of conventional therapies. After 3 months of MT, most interviewed patients reported some improvements of their QoL, which were often related to a higher vitality and autonomy. MT was often seen as a chance to make an own personal contribution to the therapy. Concrete personal achievements such as changes in the private and/or professional environment were spontaneously mentioned by the patients, not only illustrating their improvements in QoL, but also reflecting a stronger vitality and a superior coping with the disease.

Conclusions: Our observations suggest that MT, with its various components – mistletoe preparation, repeated (self-)injection, CAM-setting with intensive personal contact with health professionals – and as part of a multi-modal therapy seems to contribute to an improvement in QoL and a superior coping with cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; Mistletoe; Quality of life; Qualitative research; Interviews; EORTC QLQ-C30

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Complementary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:26 Feb 2012 17:30
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:41
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0944-7113
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2011.09.037

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