Proposed Consensus-Based Canadian Integrative Oncology Research Priorities


  • Laura Weeks Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre
  • Dugald Seely Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre
  • Lynda Balneaves University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • Heather Boon University of Toronto
  • Anne Leis University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon
  • Doreen Oneschuk University of Alberta, Edmonton
  • Stephen Sagar McMaster University, Hamilton
  • Marja Verhoef University of Calgary



integrative oncology programs, complementary and conventional medical treatments


Objectives: An increasing number of integrative oncology programs are being established across Canada that offer a combination of complementary and conventional medical treatments in a shift towards whole-person cancer care. It was our objective to identify consensus-based research priorities within a coherent research agenda to guide Canadian integrative oncology practice and policy moving forward.

Methods: Members of the Integrative Canadian Oncology Research Initiative and the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre organized a 2-day consensus workshop, which was preceded by a Delphi survey and stakeholder interviews.

Results: Eighty-one participants took part in Round 1 of the Delphi survey, 52 in Round 2 (66.2%) and 45 (86.5%) in Round 3. Nineteen invited stakeholders participated in the 2-day workshop held in Ottawa, Canada. Five inter-related priority research areas emerged as a foundation for a Canadian research agenda: Effectiveness; Safety; Resource and Health Services Utilization; Knowledge Translation; and Developing Integrative Oncology Models. Research is needed within each priority area from a range of different perspectives (e.g., patient, practitioner, health system) and that reflects a continuum of integration from the addition of a single complementary intervention within conventional cancer care to systemic change. Participants brainstormed strategic directions to implement the developing research agenda and identified related opportunities within Canada. A voting process helped to identify working groups to pursue strategic directions within the interest and expertise of meeting participants.

Conclusion: The identified research priorities reflect the needs and perspectives of a spectrum of integrative oncology stakeholders. Ongoing stakeholder consultation, including engagement from new stakeholders, is needed to ensure appropriate uptake and implementation of the Canadian research agenda.



How to Cite

Weeks, L., Seely, D., Balneaves, L., Boon, H., Leis, A., Oneschuk, D., Sagar, S., & Verhoef, M. (2014). Proposed Consensus-Based Canadian Integrative Oncology Research Priorities. The International Journal of Whole Person Care, 1(1).