Help with finding the right complementary careThe website http://www.complementairezorg-vokk.nl/ (in Dutch) provides an overview of complementary therapies for pain relief that can be safely used by children with cancer, and of which the efficacy has been scientifically proven ('evidence based'). The information on this website is based on extensive literature research in a range of databases, systematic analysis of the scientific results published, and interviews with various Dutch and international experts in the areas of child oncology and complementary care. Only those complementary therapies that are reliable and safe are presented on the website. In addition, the site offers practical advice for parents; for example, how to discuss complementary care options for children with cancer with their physician.
Transparent and accessible information
About 40% of parents of children with cancer make use of complementary care, particularly homeopathic remedies and dietary supplements, to enhance their child's well-being during cancer treatments. Although 70% of these users is satisfied with the effect of complementary care, research also shows that they have little knowledge about the therapies chosen. Moreover, many regular healthcare providers are insufficiently aware of the possibilities of complementary care, despite the fact that it is increasingly used by patients and covered by health insurance companies. To address this gap the "Complementary Care Choosing Tool for Children with Cancer" was developed (2015-2016) and made available on the internet (2017). This tool provides transparent and easy-to-understand information, in the interest of patients as well as physicians and health insurers.
Project implementation and funding
This project was carried out by the Louis Bolk Institute, VOKK (Dutch association of parents of children with cancer) and the Van Praag Institute, in collaboration with the task force Supportive Care of SKION (Child Oncology Foundation Netherlands), NIKIM (National Information and Knowledge Centre for Integrative Medicine) and PPCG (Dutch Patient Forum for Complementary Care). The project was funded by Fonds Nuts Ohra. The website is owned and managed by VOKK. The aim is to extend the care choosing tool in a later phase to include evidence-based complementary therapies for other cancer treatment-related complaints.