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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 95--104

The effect of complementary and alternative medicines on quality of life in patients with breast cancer: A systematic review

1 Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Sports Medicine Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Mrs. Fatemeh Bakhshi
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_183_19

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Background: Breast cancer disease and its classic treatment lead to decrease in patients' quality of life (QOL). This systematic review aimed to compare the effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) categories on the QOL of women with breast cancer. Methods: English clinical trials from PubMed, Emabase, Scupos, and Google Scholar databases were searched electronically by the end of 2018 with the Cochrane Collaboration protocol. Two researchers independently extracted data such as participants' characteristics, CAM methods, QOL assessment tools. CAMs were classified into three categories of dietary supplements, herbal medicine, and mind-body techniques. Results: During the initial search, 1186 articles were found. After reviewing titles, abstracts, and full texts based on inclusion and exclusion criteria, 28 clinical trials were included in the systematic review, 18 of which was randomized controlled trial (RCT). Participants included women with breast cancer who were undergoing the first three phases of breast cancer or postcancer rehabilitation. Among CAM interventions, one article used a dietary supplement, and the other 27 articles included a variety of mind-body techniques. Twenty-seven studies showed improved QOL (P > 0.05). Conclusion: The findings may indicate the potential benefits of CAMs, especially mind-body techniques on QOL in breast cancer patients. Further RCTs or long-term follow-up studies are recommended. Moreover, the use of similar QOL assessment tools allows for more meta-analysis and generalizability of results, especially for the development of clinical guidelines.


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