Even in the palliative context complementary therapy has a high value for patients and their relatives. In contrast to the methods of conventional medicine naturopathy as a holistic system has positive meanings for patients and their family. Complementary medicine in the palliative setting can be used as a supportive therapy in carefully selected cases. Doctors and patients should be careful regarding effect and side effects and should make sure that supportive therapy is given adequately and in effective doses. Complementary therapy should not be used in order to avoid the question of life and death. An adequate approach to the topic is mandatory, which acknowledges the needs of patients but also looks for their safety. Patients following alternative therapies sometimes neglect helpful therapeutic options. Carefully providing information on these therapies is mandatory. Physicians should avoid losing patients' confidence in their competence and attention in their final course of disease. Also in palliative medicine a sensitive approach to the topic of complementary medicine is mandatory, which accounts for the eligible wishes of patients and their relatives but puts the patients safety first.
Internist (Berl). 2010 Dec 24. [Article in German] Hübner J, Stoll C. Palliativmedizin, supportive und komplementäre Onkologie, Universitäres Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen, Klinikum der J.W. Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60595, Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland, Jutta.Huebner@kgu.de.