Facilitators and barriers to traditional medicine use among cancer patients in Malawi

Autoři: Jacob Hill aff001;  Ryan Seguin aff002;  Twambilile Phanga aff002;  Agness Manda aff002;  Maria Chikasema aff002;  Satish Gopal aff001;  Jennifer S. Smith aff001
Působiště autorů: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America aff001;  Malawi Cancer Consortium and Regional Center of Research Excellence for non-Communicable Diseases, Lilongwe, Malawi aff002;  University of Malawi College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223853



Increasing access to conventional cancer treatment (CT) in low-income countries (LICs) is an important public health initiative to address the global burden of cancer. However, LICs have a high prevalence of use of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM). It is important to consider the factors that influence a patient’s choice to use T&CM, CT, or both for their cancer treatment.


We conducted focus groups among adult cancer patients in Lilongwe, Malawi to identify facilitators and barriers of T&CM use. Focus groups were recorded, transcribed, translated, and underwent thematic content analysis.


Cultural norms, T&CM access, T&CM success, and CT failure were all identified as facilitators to T&CM use. CT success and T&CM failure were identified as barriers. Access and norms appear to determine initial treatment selection, while treatment outcomes dictate continued use of T&CM or CT.


This study identified a pragmatic and experience-based treatment selection process that aligns with the social cognitive theory of behavior and assists in comprehending the factors that influence T&CM use among cancer patients in a low resource setting.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Cancer detection and diagnosis – Cancer treatment – Culture – Health care facilities – Health care policy – Malawi – Traditional medicine


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 10