Challenges in Implementing Guideline on Integrative Oncology and Pain: The Israeli Perspective

Eran Ben-Arye*, Jun Mao, Eduardo Bruera, Noah Samuels, Yael Keshet, Richard T. Lee, Dina Ben-Yehuda, Elon Eisenberg, Gil Bar-Sela, Pesach Shvartzman, Lynda G. Balneaves, Michal Shani, Martin Ellis, Debu Tripathy, Shifra Ash, Avishay Elis, Zvi Vaknin, Ruth Ofir, Elad Schiff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Context and objectives: To explore the feasibility of implementing the joint guideline on integrative medicine for pain management in oncology, published by the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), for integrative oncology (IO) services in supportive and palliative care. Methods: A qualitative research methodology was co-designed by the SIO-ASCO guideline committee, with the Society for Complementary Medicine, Israel Medical Association (IMA). A questionnaire with five open-ended questions exploring barriers and enablers to implementing the guideline was distributed to chairs and board members of nine IMA-affiliated medical societies; four deans of Israeli medical schools; and nurses from the Israeli Society for Oncology Nursing. Respondent narratives were qualitatively analyzed using ATLAS.Ti software for systematic coding. Results: Questionnaires were completed by 52 physicians and nurses from medical oncology, hematology, gynecological oncology, pediatric oncology, palliative medicine, pain, family medicine, internal medicine, and integrative medicine. The SIO-ASCO guidelines were endorsed by nine IMA-affiliated societies. The domains identified included the importance of guideline implementation in clinical practice; barriers and facilitators to implementation; practical aspects required for this implementation (e.g., IO training); clinical indications for referral; budget-related issues; and clinical and administrative models enabling practical implementation of the guideline. Conclusion: We found across-the-board consensus among the nine IMA-affiliated societies supporting the current guideline. This, while identifying potential facilitators and barriers in order to address the implementation of the SIO-ASCO guideline recommendations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine


  • Cancer
  • guideline
  • integrative medicine
  • integrative oncology
  • israel
  • pain
  • palliative care


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