Pediatric oncologists' perspectives on the use of complementary medicine in pediatric cancer patients in Switzerland: A national survey‐based cross‐sectional study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractBackgroundThere is a widespread use of complementary therapies among pediatric cancer patients. Previous studies provided evidence that communication between pediatric oncologists (POs) and patients/families about the use of these therapies is often incomplete. Furthermore, nationwide studies on this topic are rare.AimsWe assessed POs' perspectives on the use of complementary medicine (CM) in Switzerland, on the basis of an edited survey previously used in a nationwide study.Methods and ResultsA link to an online survey was sent by e‐mail to each of the fifty‐two eligible pediatric oncologists in all nine Swiss Pediatric Oncology Group (SPOG) centers. Eligible respondents were board‐certified (Switzerland or abroad) POs currently working at a SPOG center. The survey was available for a total period of 2 months.We received 29 filled questionnaires (overall response rate: 56%). Most POs (59%) indicated that they ask more than 50% of their patients about CM use. Frequent reasons for not asking about the use of CM were i) forgetting to ask (55%), ii) lack of knowledge on the subject (31%), and iii) lack of time (24%). More than every second PO (55%) reported having a lack of knowledge on the subject. A majority of POs (66% to 76%) indicated interest in learning more about specific CM topics (cannabinoids, hypnosis and relaxation, music therapy, herbal medicine, acupuncture, meditation, and yoga). More information and specific training opportunities on the use of CM was deemed important by 76% to 97% of POs.ConclusionPOs working in Switzerland identify complementary therapies as an important subject. Swiss POs are willing to acquire more knowledge on CM. More training seems to be necessary in order to increase awareness about the topic, to enhance communication about complementary therapies and thus to improve patient care.


  • Pirson, Léopold
  • Lüer, Sonja C
  • Diezi, Manuel
  • Kroiss, Sabine
  • Brazzola, Pierluigi
  • Schilling, Freimut H
  • von der Weid, Nicolas
  • Scheinemann, Katrin
  • Greiner, Jeanette
  • Zuzak, Tycho Jan
  • von Bueren, André O

publication date

  • January 2023