The relationship of belief in control and purpose in life to adult lung cancer patients' inclination to use unproven cancer therapies

Barbara Skinn

Abstract


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship of belief in control and purpose in life to the adult lung cancer patinet's inclination to use unproven cancer therapies. A convenience sample of 40 lung cancer patients completed the Wallston's Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale, Crumbaugh's Purpose in Life Scale, an adapted Hiratzka's Alternative Therapy Scale, and a patient information sheet. The majority of participants exhibited a strong internal locus of control orientation and a strong purpose in life. Belief in control, purpose in life, and the degree of inclination to use unproven cancer therapies. The majority of participants had heard of five or more unproven cancer remedies, and exhibited a strong inclination to use these unorthodox remedies. The most frequently used unproven therapies were anti-medicines—imagery, faith-healing, megadose vitamins and taheebo tea. The rising popularity of these anti-medicines has been reported in the literature.

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