OBJECTIVE: To review strategies and recommendations to improve utilization of acupuncture treatment for side effects of chemoradiation therapy in cancer centers. DATA SOURCES: Research studies and articles, government reports, and author experience. CONCLUSION: Recent evidence in clinical research indicates that acupuncture is beneficial for chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting, and cancer pain. Other preliminary data also suggests acupuncture might be effective for chemotherapy-induced leukopenia, postchemotherapy fatigue, radiation therapy-induced xerostomia, insomnia, and anxiety. However, the utilization rate of acupuncture remains low despite the wide use of other complementary and alternative medical therapies among cancer patients. This low usage of acupuncture in cancer patients indicates a health care quality issue. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING PRACTICE: Oncology nurses need to increase their awareness of the available evidence in the use of acupuncture in the supportive care of cancer patients.
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