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We evaluated whether complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use influenced outcomes [survival and health-related quality of life (HRQOL)] of cancer patients whose condition had just been judged terminal.
NCCAM named five major CAM categories: (i) alternative medical systems (oriental herbal medicine, acupuncture, ayurveda, and homeopathy), (ii) mind–body intervention (yoga, meditation, prayer therapy, music/dance therapy, art therapy, and horticultural therapy), (iii) biologically based therapy (medicinal herbs, vitamin supplements, hydrotherapy, dietary supplements, etc.), (iv) manipulative and body-based therapies, and (v) energy therapies.
The Korean-language EORTC QLQ-C30 has been validated .
CAM users were defined as those who reported using at least one form of CAM, and those with questions left unanswered on the questionnaire were defined as nonusers.
An individual's propensity score is the probability of being a CAM user on the basis of observed characteristics (sex, age, marital status, educational level, job status, religion, ECOG PS, metastasis, primary cancer site, and reason for terminal status).
We measured survival time from the date of enrollment in the study and used the Kaplan–Meier method to trace survival curves by major CAM categories.
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We used the Wilcoxon test to estimate the differences in survival for univariate analysis and, for variables that showed statistical significance at the 0.10 level, carried out multivariable analyses using the Cox proportional hazards model to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (a HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) after adjusting for propensity scores and ECOG PS.