The integration of healing into conventional cancer care in the UK

Ava Lorenc, Brenda Peace, Chandrika Vaghela, Nicola Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


Healing encompasses Reiki, therapeutic touch and healing touch, and is often used by cancer patients to supplement their health care, but the extent of healing provision in conventional cancer care is unknown. This study used snowball sampling to map the healing provision in UK conventional cancer care settings. Sixty-seven individuals at 38 centres were identified who provided healing within conventional care, 16 NHS-based. Less than half were paid or had specialist cancer training. Self-referral was the usual route to healing, followed by hospital nurse referral. Healing was perceived as well accepted and useful by healers. Providing healing in conventional cancer care may improve patient empowerment and choice. Despite the value to patients, staff and healers, many services receive little financial support. Exchange of information and communication on referral possibilities between healers and conventional staff needs to be improved. Voluntary healer self-regulation will facilitate the safe incorporation of healing into conventional care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-8
Number of pages7
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Communication
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Great Britain
  • Humans
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Male
  • Mind-Body Therapies
  • Neoplasms
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Questionnaires
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Social Control, Informal
  • State Medicine
  • Volunteers


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