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      Latent class analysis suggests four distinct classes of complementary medicine users among women with breast cancer

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          Abstract

          Background

          Breast cancer patients commonly report using >1 form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). However, few studies have attempted to analyze predictors and outcomes of multiple CAM modalities. We sought to group breast cancer patients by clusters of type and intensity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use following diagnosis.

          Methods

          Detailed CAM use following breast cancer diagnosis was assessed in 2002–2003 among 764 female residents of Long Island, New York diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996–1997. Latent class analysis (LCA) was applied to CAM modalities while taking into account frequency and intensities.

          Results

          Four distinct latent classes of CAM use emerged: 1) “Low-dose supplement users” (40 %), who used only common nutritional supplements; 2) “Vitamin/mineral supplement users” (39 %), using an abundance of supplements in addition to other practices; 3) “Mind-body medicine users” (12 %), with near-universal use of supplements, mind-body medicine techniques, and massage; and 4) “Multi-modality high-dose users” (9 %), who were highly likely to use nearly all types of CAM. Predictors of membership in classes with substantial CAM use included younger age, more education, higher income, Jewish religion, ideal body mass index, higher fruit and vegetable intake, higher levels of physical activity, receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy, and prior use of oral contraceptives.

          Conclusions

          LCA identified important subgroups of breast cancer patients characterized by varying degrees of complementary therapy use. Further research should explore the reproducibility of these classes and investigate the association between latent class membership and breast cancer outcomes.

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          Most cited references 30

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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [ ]Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168th St, New York, NY USA
                [ ]Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, 2101 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7435 Chapel Hill, NC USA
                [ ]Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center, 161 Fort Washington Ave., New York, NY USA
                [ ]Department of Biostatistics, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168th St, New York, NY USA
                [ ]Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, 2200 McGavran-Greenberg Hall, CB #7461 Chapel Hill, NC USA
                [ ]Department of Preventive Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 17 E 102nd Street, New York, NY USA
                [ ]Department of Medicine, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY USA
                [ ]Present address: 722 W. 168th St., Room 733, New York, NY 10032 USA
                Contributors
                gstrizich@gmail.com
                gammon@unc.edu
                jsj4@columbia.edu
                mmw2177@columbia.edu
                salmonbayepid@gmail.com
                pbradshaw@berkeley.edu
                mt146@columbia.edu
                susan.teitelbaum@mssm.edu
                ain1@columbia.edu
                212-342-4130 , hg2120@columbia.edu
                Journal
                BMC Complement Altern Med
                BMC Complement Altern Med
                BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
                BioMed Central (London )
                1472-6882
                19 November 2015
                19 November 2015
                2015
                : 15
                4652443 937 10.1186/s12906-015-0937-4
                © Strizich et al. 2015

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                © The Author(s) 2015

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