Nurses’ utilisation of complementary therapies : a pilot study exploring scope of practice

Wallis, Marianne, Peerson, Anita, Young, Jeanine, Parkinson, Scott and Grant, Sheila 2004, Nurses’ utilisation of complementary therapies : a pilot study exploring scope of practice, Collegian, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 19-25, doi: 10.1016/S1322-7696(08)60470-9.

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Title Nurses’ utilisation of complementary therapies : a pilot study exploring scope of practice
Author(s) Wallis, Marianne
Peerson, Anita
Young, Jeanine
Parkinson, Scott
Grant, Sheila
Journal name Collegian
Volume number 11
Issue number 4
Start page 19
End page 25
Total pages 7
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publication date 2004
ISSN 1322-7696
Summary The increasing use of complementary therapies (CTs) by the public requires nurses to be fully informed about the use and safety of these modalities. In addition, nurses need to be aware of what constitutes complementary therapy practice, its overlap with nursing practice and how to respond appropriately to patients' requests for access to and information about CTs. A pilot study that aimed to describe nurses' knowledge about, and the use of CTs was conducted in four hospitals in southeast Queensland, Australia. One hundred and twenty-nine nurses (65% response rate) of varying levels of qualification and expertise completed a questionnaire. Over 80% of the participants indicated that they engaged in some form of complementary therapy (CT) activity. The entire sample worked in acute care hospitals but 5% engaged in CTs while employed in a second job. These nurses worked in either individual private practice or a multidisciplinary clinic setting. Only 2% of the sample had formal qualifications in a specific CT. Many nurses seemed unsure about what should be defined as a CT. The most common CTs engaged in by nurses were massage, music therapy and relaxation techniques but some nurses also participated in acupuncture, acupressure, hypnotherapy and osteopathy. Some nurses were confused about the difference between CT and usual nursing care. In addition, there were knowledge deficits relating to institutional policies and professional standards. Our findings suggest that nurses require more education about the scope of CT and how it differs from nursing practice. Nurses also require access to clear policies about the safe use of CTs in specific practice settings and about appropriate referral of clients to complementary therapists with accredited qualifications.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/S1322-7696(08)60470-9
Field of Research 111004
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©200, Elsevier
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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