Naturopathic Oncology Modified Delphi Panel

Integr Cancer Ther. 2016 Mar;15(1):69-79. doi: 10.1177/1534735415589983. Epub 2015 Jul 24.


Naturopathic oncology is a relatively new and emerging field capable of providing professional integrative or alternative services to cancer patients. Foundational research is critical to identify topics in the clinical and research development of naturopathic oncology for future growth of the field.

Study design: This study implements a modified Delphi protocol to develop expert consensus regarding ethics, philosophy, and research development in naturopathic oncology.

Methods: The modified protocol implements a nomination process to select a panel of 8 physicians and to assist in question formulation. The protocol includes an in-person discussion of 6 questions with multiple iterations to maintain the concept of the Delphi methodology as well as a postdiscussion consensus survey.

Results: The protocol identified, ranked, and established consensus for numerous themes per question. Underlying key topics include integration with conventional medicine, evidence-based medicine, patient education, patient safety, and additional training requirements for naturopathic oncologists.

Conclusions: The systematic nomination and questioning of a panel of experts provides a foundational and educational resource to assist in clarification of clinical ethics, philosophy, and research development in the emerging field of naturopathic oncology.

Keywords: Delphi; complementary and alternative medicine; ethics; integrative; medicine; naturopathic; oncology; philosophy; research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Consensus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Oncology / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Naturopathy / methods*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Physicians
  • Surveys and Questionnaires