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Medicines 2015, 2(3), 236-250;

Right Place, Right Time: Preferences of Women with Ovarian Cancer for Delivery of CAM Education

Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
University of Florida Health, College of Nursing, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612 USA
Division of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee, Tamiami Trail Sarasota, FL 34243, USA
University of Florida College of Public Health, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Tampa, FL 33612 USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Toku Takahashi
Received: 30 June 2015 / Revised: 5 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 31 August 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrative Medicine)
Full-Text   |   PDF [497 KB, uploaded 31 August 2015]   |  


The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of on-site complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) education sessions to maximize quality of life for women with ovarian cancer. The pilot intervention consisted of four weekly sessions, each focusing the techniques and benefits of a particular CAM topic (e.g., nutrition, massage, relaxation). Participants were recruited from the Center for Women’s Oncology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center from 2010 to 2012. Eligible participants had an ovarian cancer diagnosis with a life expectancy of at least 12 months, and were 18 years or older. The Gynecologic Oncology research nurse invited women in the outpatient clinic who matched the eligibility criteria. The research nurse explained the study and provided an informed consent form and return envelope. Because ovarian cancer is not only a rare cancer but, also, most patients seen at Moffitt have recurrent or advanced disease, many women did not have an adequate ECOG score. Many women who consented had rapid changes in health status, with morbidity and mortality outpacing recruitment of the 20 needed to proceed with the four education sessions. Baseline and follow-up surveys were conducted to assess changes in QOL, knowledge, and satisfaction with the intervention. While 27 women consented and 24 women completed the baseline survey, only five women participated in the intervention. The five women who participated were all white, and at time of consenting had a mean age of 60 (SD 9.08) and an average of 102 months (SD 120.65) since diagnosis, and were all on active treatment, except for one. The intervention pilot did not encounter difficulties with regard to recruitment, but suffered problems in achieving an adequate number of women to launch the on-site sessions because of rapidly changing morbidity and significant mortality. The team recognized that a larger-scaled intervention comprised of on-site sessions was impractical and compared attendance rates with a more convenient format currently underway in the Women’s Oncology program at Moffitt. While low participation prevented an intervention analysis of scientific merit, the study data is informative with regard to barriers, facilitators, and alternative methods for sharing useful information to women with advanced ovarian cancer. The comparison strongly suggested that CAM education for women compromised by the disease and treatment associated with ovarian cancer would best be delivered in the convenient-access format that allowed remote access to live and recorded discussions of specific topics. View Full-Text
Keywords: ovarian cancer; complementary and alternative medicine; CAM education; feasibility pilot ovarian cancer; complementary and alternative medicine; CAM education; feasibility pilot

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ebbert, J.A.; Donovan, K.A.; Lengacher, C.A.; Fabri, D.; Reich, R.; Daley, E.; Thompson, E.L.; Wenham, R.M. Right Place, Right Time: Preferences of Women with Ovarian Cancer for Delivery of CAM Education. Medicines 2015, 2, 236-250.

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