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Int J Nurs Stud. 2017 Apr;69:47-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.01.008. Epub 2017 Jan 29.

Nurses' attitudes towards complementary therapies: A systematic review and meta-synthesis.

Author information

1
Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM), University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia; Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, School of Nursing & Midwifery Monash University, Frankston, Australia. Electronic address: Helen.Hall@monash.edu.
2
Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM), University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia; School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of South Australia, Australia.
3
Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (ARCCIM), University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia; School of Humanities and Social Science, University of Newcastle, Australia.
4
Endeavour College of Natural Health, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The use of complementary therapies is becoming increasingly prevalent. This has important implications for nurses in terms of patient care and safety.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this meta-synthesis is to review critically, appraise and synthesize the existing qualitative research to develop a new, more substantial interpretation of nurses' attitudes regarding the, use of complementary therapies by patients.

DATA SOURCES:

A search of relevant articles published in English between, January 2000 and December 2015 was conducted using the following, electronic databases; MEDLINE, CINAHL and AMED. Reference lists of selected papers and grey literature were also interrogated for pertinent, studies.

DESIGN:

This review is reported according to the Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the Synthesis of Qualitative Research (ENTREQ) guidelines. Data were extracted and analysed using a thematic synthesis process.

RESULTS:

Fifteen articles were included in this review. Five analytical themes emerged from the data relating to nurses' attitude towards complementary therapies: the strengths and weaknesses of conventional medicine; Complementary therapies as a way to enhance nursing practice; patient empowerment and patient-centeredness; cultural barriers and enablers to integration; and structural barriers and enablers to integration.

DISCUSSION:

Nurses' support for complementary therapies is not an attempt to challenge mainstream medicine but rather an endeavour to improve the quality of care available to patients. There are, however, a number of barriers to nurses' support including institutional culture and clinical context, as well as time and knowledge limitations.

CONCLUSION:

Some nurses promote complementary therapies as an opportunity to personalise care and practice in a humanistic way. Yet, nurses have very limited education in this field and a lack of professional frameworks to assist them. The nursing profession needs to consider how to address current deficiencies in meeting the growing use of complementary therapies by patients.

KEYWORDS:

Complementary and alternative medicine; Complementary medicine; Complementary therapies; Meta-synthesis; Nurse; Systematic review

PMID:
28167377
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2017.01.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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