Indigenous beliefs about biomedical and bush medicine treatment efficacy for indigenous cancer patients: a review of the literature.

Australia's indigenous people suffer from higher cancer mortality than non-indigenous Australians, a discrepancy partly caused by differences in beliefs about treatment efficacy between Indigenous patients and their non-indigenous healthcare providers. This paper critically reviews the literature associated with Indigenous beliefs about cancer treatment, both 'bush medicine' and biomedical, in order to provide recommendations to healthcare providers about accommodating indigenous beliefs when treating cancer.
A search was undertaken of peer-reviewed journal papers using electronic databases and citation snowballing. Papers were selected for inclusion based upon relevance to themes that addressed the research questions.
Literature suggests that indigenous beliefs about treatment efficacy for cancer involve five themes: (i) concerns about the toxicity of treatment; (ii) disconnect with the physician; (iii) fears about absence from home during treatment; (iv) different beliefs about disease aetiology; (v) biomedical cancer treatments failing to address holistic health.
Although some information is known about indigenous Australian healing beliefs and practices associated with cancer treatment, few studies have addressed ways in which indigenous and biomedical approaches to cancer treatment might be integrated. Some recent work has examined the role of belief in cancer treatment, specifically bush medicine, but more research is required.
AuthorsK D van Schaik, S C Thompson
JournalInternal medicine journal (Intern Med J) Vol. 42 Issue 2 Pg. 184-91 (Feb 2012) ISSN: 1445-5994 [Electronic] Australia
PMID21981135 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review)
Copyright© 2011 The Authors. Internal Medicine Journal © 2011 Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
  • Australia (ethnology)
  • Culture
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional (methods)
  • Neoplasms (ethnology, therapy)
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group (ethnology)
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Population Groups (ethnology)
  • Treatment Outcome

Join CureHunter, for free Research Interface BASIC access!

Take advantage of free CureHunter research engine access to explore the best drug and treatment options for any disease. Find out why thousands of doctors, pharma researchers and patient activists around the world use CureHunter every day.
Realize the full power of the drug-disease research network!

Choose Username:
Verify Password: