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Table 4 Attitudes and knowledge about indirect risk situations (n = 466)a

From: Attitudes and knowledge about direct and indirect risks among conventional and complementary health care providers in cancer care

  Total   Medical doctor (n = 142) Nurse (n = 69) Provider with dual training (n = 32) Complementary therapist (n = 223) p-value
  n % n % n % n % n %  
Whether complementary modalities should be subjected to more scientific testing^^
 Yes 302 71.6 119 88.8 54 88.5 15 55.6 114 57 < 0.001*
Most important factor for recommending a complementary modality            < 0.001^
 Evidence for safety 209 49.1 52 38.2 37 59.7 12 44.4 108 53.7  
 Evidence for efficacy 169 39.7 55 40.4 25 40.3 14 51.9 75 37.3  
 Evidence does not matter 22 5.2 5 3.7 0 0 0 0 17 8.5  
 Double responses 26 6.1 24 17.6 0 0 1 3.7 1 0.5  
Sufficient efficacy evidence to recommend a complementary modality            < 0.001^
 No or weak evidence for efficacy 39 9.3 9 6.6 3 4.9 2 7.4 25 12.9  
 Moderate evidence for efficacy 151 36.1 37 27.2 11 18 17 63 86 44.3  
 Strong evidence for efficacy 168 40.2 66 48.5 39 63.9 7 25.9 56 28.9  
 Would never recommend 60 14.4 24 17.6 8 13.1 1 3.7 27 13.9  
Sufficient evidece for safety            < 0.001^
 No or weak evidence for safety 12 2.9 3 2.2 0 0 1 3.7 8 4.1  
 Moderate evidence for safety 57 13.6 4 3 3 4.8 7 25.9 43 22.1  
 Strong evidence for safety 309 73.7 108 80 52 83.9 18 66.7 131 67.2  
 Would never recommend 41 9.8 20 14.8 7 11.3 1 3.7 13 6.7  
Number of complementary modality care patients who delayed or declined conventional treatment            < 0.001*
 No patients 337 80 95 70.4 30 49.2 25 96.2 187 94  
 One or more patients 84 20 40 29.6 31 50.8 1 3.8 12 6  
How the providers would address a complementary modality patient who delayed or declined conventional treatment            
 Have not experienced 206 44.2 52 36.6 15 21.7 12 38.7 127 58.8 < 0.001*
 Respect the patient’s choice 157 33.7 57 40.1 35 50.7 11 35.5 54 25.0 < 0.001*
 Try to convince patient 127 27.3 65 45.8 13 18.8 7 22.6 42 19.4 < 0.001*
 Encourage patient soliciting a  second opinion 150 32.2 34 23.9 24 34.8 12 38.7 80 37.0 0.122*
 Ask family members to intervene 9 1.9 7 4.9 2 2.9 0 0.0 0 0.0 0.003^
 Inform patient of consequences of not receiving conventional treatment 203 43.6 91 64.1 42 60.9 10 32.3 60 27.8 < 0.001*
Approve of patient combining complementary and conventional treatments            < 0.001^
 Never 23 5.9 12 9 3 5.8 0 0 8 4.5  
 Sometimes 147 37.8 84 63.2 31 59.6 6 24 26 14.5  
 Often 107 27.5 27 20.3 9 17.3 8 32 63 35.2  
 Always 112 28.8 10 7.5 9 17.3 11 44 82 45.8  
Asking patients if they consider risks of combining complementary and conventional treatments            < 0.001*
 Never 153 39.2 54 40.3 17 30.4 11 44 71 40.6  
 Sometimes 147 37.7 59 44 31 55.4 11 44 46 26.3  
 Often/always 90 23.1 21 15.7 8 14.3 3 12 58 33.1  
Advice given to patients who ask about complementary modalities            < 0.001^
 Discourage use 14 3.6 10 7.5 2 3.6 0 0 2 1.1  
 Encourage use 100 25.8 3 2.3 4 7.3 11 42.3 82 47.1  
 Neither 177 45.6 81 60.9 30 54.5 10 38.5 56 32.2  
 Other 97 25 39 29.3 19 34.5 5 19.2 34 19.5  
Advice given to patients who ask about conventional treatment
 Discourage use 2 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1.1 0.005^
 Encourage use 308 78.2 116 86.6 42 77.8 21 84 129 71.3  
 Neither discourage nor encourage 46 11.7 5 3.7 6 11.1 4 16 31 17.1  
 Other 38 9.6 13 9.7 6 11.1 0 0 19 10.5  
Complementary modalities are dangerous because they delay conventional treatments            < 0.001*
 Yes 178 47.6 100 78.1 35 71.4 6 24 37 21.5  
  1. *Pearson’s chi-square test; ^Fisher’s exact test; aDue to multiple and missing responses, the analyzed numbers do not always add up to the total number;^^The missing response variated between (n = 8 and n = 84)