Growth of Integrative Medicine at Leading Cancer Centers Between 2009 and 2016: A Systematic Analysis of NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center Websites.

Author: Yun H1, Sun L1, Mao JJ1
1Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Xiyuan Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
Conference/Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr.
Date published: 2017 Nov 1
Other: Volume ID: 2017 , Issue ID: 52 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1093/jncimonographs/lgx004. , Word Count: 229

Background: Cancer centers have increasingly offered integrative medicine therapies in response to their patients' unmet needs. We evaluated the growth of integrative medicine in leading academic cancer centers in the United States as reflected by their public-facing websites.

Methods: We performed a systematic review of 45 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center websites. Two researchers independently evaluated whether the websites provided information regarding integrative medicine modalities and, if so, whether the services were provided in the same health system. They compared the proportion of cancer centers providing the information on each modality in 2016 with the data from the prior study in 2009.

Results: The most common integrative medicine therapies mentioned on the 45 NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center websites were exercise (97.8%) and acupuncture and meditation (88.9% each), followed by yoga (86.7%), massage (84.4%), and music therapy (82.2%). The majority of the websites also provided information on nutrition (95.6%), dietary supplements (93.3%), and herbs (88.9%). The most common therapies offered in the health systems were acupuncture/massage (73.3% each), meditation/yoga (68.9% each), and consultations about nutrition (91.1%), dietary supplements (84.4%), and herbs (66.7%). Compared with 2009, there was a statistically significant increase in the number of websites mentioning acupuncture, dance therapy, healing touch, hypnosis, massage, meditation, Qigong, and yoga (all P < .05).

Conclusions: Leading US cancer centers increasingly present integrative medicine content on their websites, and the majority of them provide these services to patients in the same health systems.

PMID: 29140485 DOI: 10.1093/jncimonographs/lgx004