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Title: Nurses’ beliefs, experiences and practice regarding complementary and alternative medicine in Taiwan
Author(s): Smith, Graeme Drummond 
Author(s): Wu, S.-C.
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Wiley
Journal: Journal of Clinical Nursing 
Volume: 21
Issue: 17-18
Start page: 2659
End page: 2667
Aim. To gain an insight into this issue, this study used a qualitative approach and aims to explore and describe nurses’ beliefs, experiences and practice regarding complementary and alternative medicine in Taiwan.

Background. The integration of complementary and alternative medicine with conventional medicine has become more common worldwide in recent years. An increase in patient use and an expansion of nurses using complementary and alternative medicine has spawned further investigation. Most published studies have concentrated on the usage of complementary and alternative medicine in western societies and have focused principally on physicians’ attitudes and practice patterns in this regard. Despite the large amount of time and the unique relationship that nurses share with their patients, little research has investigated the nurse’s attitudes and practice regarding complementary and alternative medicine. Moreover, there has been no previous research into understanding this issue from the Taiwanese nursing perspective.

Design. A qualitative research design.

Method. By using an exploratory, descriptive, qualitative approach, data were collected from 11 registered nurses. The methods of the data collection were in-depth, semi-structured interviews, field notes and memos and the data were analysed using the constant comparative method.

Results. Three major categories emerged from the data; namely, a ‘lack of clear definition’, ‘limited experience’ and ‘high interest’ towards complementary and alternative medicine. These results suggest that the definition of complementary and alternative medicine is often unclear for nurses in Taiwan. Due to the organisational policies and personal knowledge base, very few nurses integrate complementary and alternative medicine into their daily practice. However, the nurses in Taiwan show a great desire to participate in complementary and alternative medicine continuing education programmes.

Conclusions. This study is not only significant in filling the gap in the existing literature, but is also important in understanding this issue from the nurses’ perspective, to offer a series of recommendations for policy, nursing education, nursing practice and suggestions for further research.

Relevance to clinical practice. This study highlights the importance of nursing attitude in the use of complementary and alternative medicine. Clinical nurses have the potential to provide appropriate information to their patients to ensure safe complementary and alternative medicine use.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.04008.x
CIHE Affiliated Publication: No
Appears in Collections:HS Publication

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