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Healthcare 2016, 4(4), 80; doi:10.3390/healthcare4040080

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use and Latina Breast Cancer Survivors’ Symptoms and Functioning

1
Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20007, USA
2
Nueva Vida, Inc., Alexandria, VA, 20036, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Helen Noble and Joanne Reid
Received: 9 July 2016 / Revised: 15 October 2016 / Accepted: 21 October 2016 / Published: 31 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Holistic Needs of Those Living with and beyond Breast Cancer)
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Abstract

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is used widely in cancer populations, particularly among women, and has shown promise for addressing symptom and functioning outcomes. Few studies to date have evaluated CAM use and associations over time with symptoms and function among Latina breast cancer survivors. We administered a baseline (N = 136) and follow-up (n = 58) telephone survey in Spanish or English assessing Latina breast cancer survivor demographics, physical function, anxiety, depression, fatigue, satisfaction with social roles, and both CAM activities and devotional and spiritual practices. About one-third of our sample (35% baseline; 36% follow-up) reported using CAM (yoga, meditation, massage, or herbal/dietary supplements). We assessed devotional and spiritual practices separately from CAM (church attendance, prayer, religious groups, and reading devotional and religious texts); the majority of Latina survivors reported devotional and spiritual practices (80% baseline; 81% follow-up). At baseline, CAM demonstrated a positive association with better physical functioning and lower depression. In contrast, CAM use at the time of follow-up appeared to be related to lower levels of satisfaction with social roles and physical function. In longitudinal analyses, devotional and spiritual practices at baseline significantly predicted lower anxiety, depression, and fatigue at follow-up. Findings suggest CAM plays a complex and not always linear role in symptoms and function outcomes for Latina breast cancer survivors. These findings contribute to the literature on longitudinal CAM use and associations with symptom and functioning outcomes among Latina breast cancer survivors. View Full-Text
Keywords: complementary medicine; alternative medicine; breast cancer; quality of life; Latina; religious beliefs; spirituality; prayer complementary medicine; alternative medicine; breast cancer; quality of life; Latina; religious beliefs; spirituality; prayer
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rush, C.L.; Lobo, T.; Serrano, A.; Blasini, M.; Campos, C.; Graves, K.D. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use and Latina Breast Cancer Survivors’ Symptoms and Functioning. Healthcare 2016, 4, 80.

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