Education Competencies for Integrative Oncology—Results of a Systematic Review and an International and Interprofessional Consensus Procedure

Claudia M. Witt, Lynda G. Balneaves, Linda E. Carlson, Misha Cohen, Gary Deng, Judith M. Fouladbakhsh, Anita Y. Kinney, Ashwin Mehta, Josh Mailman, Laura Pole, Alizé A. Rogge, Carole O’Toole, Suzanna M. Zick, Stefanie M. Helmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Integrative oncology is a burgeoning field and typically provided by a multiprofessional team. To ensure cancer patients receive effective, appropriate, and safe care, health professionals providing integrative cancer care should have a certain set of competencies. The aim of this project was to define core competencies for different health professions involved in integrative oncology. The project consisted of two phases. A systematic literature review on published competencies was performed, and the results informed an international and interprofessional consensus procedure. The second phase consisted of three rounds of consensus procedure and included 28 experts representing 7 different professions (medical doctors, psychologists, nurses, naturopathic doctors, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, yoga practitioners, patient navigators) as well as patient advocates, public health experts, and members of the Society for Integrative Oncology. A total of 40 integrative medicine competencies were identified in the literature review. These were further complemented by 18 core oncology competencies. The final round of the consensus procedure yielded 37 core competencies in the following categories: knowledge (n = 11), skills (n = 17), and abilities (n = 9). There was an agreement that these competencies are relevant for all participating professions. The integrative oncology core competencies combine both fundamental oncology knowledge and integrative medicine competencies that are necessary to provide effective and safe integrative oncology care for cancer patients. They can be used as a starting point for developing profession-specific learning objectives and to establish integrative oncology education and training programs to meet the needs of cancer patients and health professionals.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)499-507
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Cancer
  • Consensus procedure
  • Core competencies
  • Integrative oncology
  • Interprofessional collaboration


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