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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 401867, 9 pages
Research Article

Barriers to Integration of Traditional and Complementary Medicine in Supportive Cancer Care of Arab Patients in Northern Israel

1Integrative Oncology Program, The Oncology Service and Lin Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, Haifa and Western Galilee District, Haifa 35152, Israel
2Complementary and Traditional Medicine Unit, Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel
3The Carmel Medical Center, Clalit Health Services, Haifa 34362, Israel
4School of Public Health, Faculty of Social Welfare & Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel
5David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem 91035, Israel
6Department of Internal Medicine and Complementary and Integrative Surgery Service, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa 33394, Israel

Received 31 August 2011; Revised 6 October 2011; Accepted 14 October 2011

Academic Editor: Barrie Cassileth

Copyright © 2012 Eran Ben-Arye et al. 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.


In 2008, an Integrative Oncology Program (IOP), aiming to improve patients’ quality of life during chemotherapy and advanced cancer, was launched within the Clalit Health Organization's oncology service at the Lin Medical Center, Haifa, Israel. The IOP clinical activity is documented using a research-based registry protocol. In this study, we present an analysis of the registry protocol of 15 Arab patients with cancer who were referred to the IOP. Analysis of patients’ reported outcomes using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale suggests that integrative medicine care improves fatigue ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 2 4 ), nausea ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 4 3 ), depression ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 1 2 ), anxiety ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 4 4 ), appetite ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 1 2 ), and general well-being ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 3 1 ). Barriers to integration of traditional and complementary medicine in supportive care of Arab patients are discussed followed by six practical recommendations aimed at improving accessibility of patients to integrative supportive care, as well as compliance with treatments.