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Open Access The relationship between anxiety about prostate cancer among patients with biochemical cancer recurrence and the use of complementary and alternative medicines, diet, and exercise

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence.

Objective: We aimed to explore associations between anxiety and specific health behaviors such as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), diet, and exercise among prostate cancer patients.

Methods: PCa patients enrolled in a prospective cohort study of men with biochemical cancer recurrence were surveyed about use of CAM, diet, and exercise. Anxiety was measured with the Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer (MAX-PC) and the anxiety subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Results: Nearly 70% (44 of 67) of the original cohort of patients completed the supplementary CAM survey. The mean age was 68 years. Eighty percent of respondents reported engaging in a relevant health behavior, and 64% reported doing so in direct response to their PCa diagnosis. Overall, the most prevalent specific behaviors were exercising (56%), making dietary changes (50%), taking calcium supplements (41%), and taking vitamin D supplements (39%). Elevated baseline PCa-specific anxiety (MAX-PC score >16) after biochemical cancer recurrence was associated with use of any CAM (P=0.01), use of herbs/supplements (P=0.01), and dietary changes (P=0.04).

Conclusion: PCa patients commonly use CAM, dietary changes, and exercise in response to their diagnosis, and these changes are associated with elevated general and PCa-specific anxiety.
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Keywords: Prostate cancer; anxiety; complementary and alternative medicine; health behaviors

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript http://www.compuscript.com on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press http://www.chinagp.net.

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