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BACKGROUND: Conventional medicine, lifestyle modification, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are potential strategies to decrease the risk of late effects in pediatric cancer survivors. This study aimed to compare the characteristics and usage patterns of CAM and lifestyle therapies among survivors of childhood cancer. METHODS: We report the results of a cross sectional survey comparing usage patterns of CAM and lifestyle therapies among childhood cancer survivors. CAM therapies were defined by NCCAM classifications and lifestyle therapies were defined as dietary changes, conventional supplements with dietary reference intake values, and exercise. RESULTS: One hundred fifty-five (95%) patients approached in person and 45 (34%) patients approached by mail consented to participate. Sixty-eight used at least one lifestyle therapy and 58% used at least one CAM therapy. CAM users had 4.7 times the odds of using lifestyle therapies than non-CAM users (P < .0001); the odds of using dietary change and conventional supplements was greater in CAM users than non-CAM users (odds ratio [OR] = 3.55, P < .0001 and OR = 4.80, P < .0001 respectively). Use of the top three CAM therapies was associated with overall lifestyle therapy use (OR = 12.52 and P < .0001, OR = 7.071 and P = .0004, and OR = 2.925 and P = .0089 for juicing, yoga/movement, and touch therapies, respectively). Lifestyle therapies and CAM had similar perceived efficacy (92%-90%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: This data reports a strong association between CAM and lifestyle therapies and may identify a population with commitment to general wellness. Use of one therapy may promote use of other therapies and this potential synergistic relationship can be targeted in future interventions.

PURPOSE: To determine whether non-physical activity mind and body practices reduce the severity of fatigue in patients with cancer or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients compared to control interventions. METHODS: We included randomized trials which compared non-physical activity mind and body practices compared with control interventions for the management of fatigue in cancer and HSCT patients. RESULTS: Among 55 trials (4975 patients), interventions were acupuncture or acupressure (n=12), mindfulness (n=11), relaxation techniques (n=10), massage (n=6), energy therapy (n=5), energizing yogic breathing (n=3) and others (n=8). When combined, all interventions significantly reduced fatigue severity compared to all controls (standardized mean difference -0.51, 95% confidence interval -0.73 to -0.29). More specifically, mindfulness and relaxation significantly reduced fatigue severity. CONCLUSIONS: Mindfulness and relaxation were effective at reducing fatigue severity in patients with cancer and HSCT recipients. Future studies should evaluate how to translate these findings into clinical practice across different patient groups.