Barriers to Acupuncture Use Among Breast Cancer Survivors: A Cross-Sectional Analysis.


Journal Article

INTRODUCTION:Increasing evidence suggests that acupuncture may be helpful to manage common symptoms and treatment side effects among breast cancer (BC) survivors. Acupuncture usage among BC survivors remains low with little known about the barriers to its utilization. We evaluated perceived barriers to acupuncture use among BC survivors and explored the sociodemographic variations of such barriers. METHODS:We conducted a cross-sectional analysis at an urban academic cancer center on 593 postmenopausal women with a history of stage I-III hormone receptor-positive BC who were taking or had taken an aromatase inhibitor. We used the modified Attitudes and Beliefs about Complementary and Alternative Medicine instrument to evaluate patients' perceived barriers to acupuncture. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to determine sociodemographic factors associated with perceived barrier scores. RESULTS:The most common barriers were lack of knowledge about acupuncture (41.6%), concern for lack of insurance coverage (25.0%), cost (22.3%), and difficulty finding qualified acupuncturists (18.6%). Compared with whites, minority patients had higher perceived barriers to use acupuncture (β coefficient = 1.63, 95% confidence interval = 0.3-2.9, P = .013). Patients with lower education had higher barriers to use acupuncture (β coefficient = 4.23, 95% confidence interval = 3.0-5.4, P < .001) compared with patients with college education or above. CONCLUSION:Lack of knowledge and concerns for insurance coverage and cost are the common barriers to acupuncture use among BC survivors, especially among minority patients with lower education. Addressing these barriers may lead to more equitable access to acupuncture treatment for BC survivors from diverse backgrounds.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Bao, T; Li, Q; DeRito, JL; Seluzicki, C; Im, E-O; Mao, J

Published Date

  • September 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 854 - 859

PubMed ID

  • 29338443

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29338443

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-695X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1534-7354

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1534735418754309


  • eng