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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is common among individuals with cancer, but many choose not to discuss CAM with health-care providers (HCPs). Moreover, there is variability in the provision of evidence-informed decision making about CAM use. A clinical practice guideline was developed to standardize how oncology HCPs address CAM use as well as to inform how individuals with cancer can be supported in making evidence-informed decisions about CAM. An integrative review of the literature, from inception to December 31, 2018, was conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, CINAHL, and AMED databases. Eligible articles included oncology HCPs' practice related to discussing, assessing, documenting, providing decision support, or offering information about CAM. Two authors independently searched the literature, and selected articles were summarized. Recommendations for clinical practice were formulated from the appraised evidence and clinical experiences of the research team. An expert panel reviewed the guideline for usability and appropriateness and recommendations were finalized. The majority of the 30 studies eligible for inclusion were either observational or qualitative, with only 3 being reviews and 3 being experimental. From the literature, 7 practice recommendations were formulated for oncology HCPs regarding how to address CAM use by individuals with cancer, including communicating, assessing, educating, decision coaching, documenting, active monitoring, and adverse event reporting. It is imperative for safe and comprehensive care that oncology HCPs address CAM use as part of standard practice. This clinical practice guideline offers directions on how to support evidence-informed decision making about CAM among individuals with cancer.

Original publication




Journal article


J Natl Cancer Inst

Publication Date





25 - 37


Complementary Therapies, Health Personnel, Humans, Medical Oncology, Neoplasms