Objective: Childhood cancers are a relatively rare group of diseases. In addition to conventional treatment, the use of alternative medicine methods is increasing. Especially during the diagnostic and treatment process, families ask doctors about alternative medicine practices. In this study, we evaluated the knowledge and opinions of the parents of childhood cancer patients about alternative medicine methods.
Methods: The volunteer parents of patients were interviewed and a questionnaire was applied to them. They were asked about which alternative medicine practices they had information about, where they had information about these practices, and what they thought about.
Results: A total of 135 people participated; the parents of children who were treated at the Dokuz Eylül University and University of Health Sciences Turkey, İzmir Tepecik Education and Research Hospital Pediatric Oncology Clinics in İzmir. They completed a questionnaire about their opinions and knowledge about alternative medicine methods. 80% of the respondents stated that they had heard about alternative medicine before and 60% of them stated that they were recommended alternative methods at any time of treatment. We found that 21.5% of the respondents used alternative methods. The most commonly used methods were herbal cures, propolis, donkey milk, turtle blood, silver water, kefir, reiki mushrooms.
Conclusion: The methods known by the participants were in a wide range. We have seen that parents with a higher education level are more inclined toward alternative medicine methods. We concluded that we should evaluate the tendency of patients to alternative medicine methods and guide them correctly.