Author(s): Boon H, Brown JB, Gavin A, Kennard MA, Stewart M
The study described in this article explored breast cancer survivors' perceptions and experiences as they decided whether to use a variety of complementary/alternative therapies. Six focus groups were conducted composed of women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Each 2-hour session was audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. In this article, the process by which the participants made the decision to use or not to use complementary/alternative therapies, including their discovery and investigation of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) and their experiences using or not using CAM, are described. Barriers to using CAM included cost, access, and time. Family and friends generally supported the decision to use CAM; however, the participants described health care practitioners' reactions as mixed.