Complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches such as nutritional supplements, special diets, and massage are commonly used for patients hospitalized for cancer treatment. An article published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that more than 95% of patients expressed interest in at least one of these types of therapies if offered during their hospital stay.
In the article 'Improving Patient-Centered Care: A Cross-Sectional Survey of Prior Use and Interest in Complementary and Integrative Health Approaches Among Hospitalized Oncology Patients', Rhianon Liu and Maria Chao, University of California, San Francisco, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine evaluated the use of 12 different CIH approaches by patients in a surgical oncology ward. The most commonly used were vitamins/nutritional supplements (67%), a special diet (42%), and manual therapies such as massage or acupressure (39%).
The study also assessed patient interest in seven different CIH approaches if they were offered, and more than 40% of patients expressed interest in each treatment, including nutritional counseling (77%) and massage (76%). About half of participants were interested in acupuncture, biofeedback, and mindfulness meditation.