What are nursing students taught about complementary therapies and integrative nursing? A literature review

Thora J. Gunnarsdottir, Marianne J.E. van der Heijden*, Martine Busch, Torkel Falkenberg, Thomas Hansen, Monique van Dijk, Anita Lunde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Introduction: In Europe, more and more people use complementary therapies (CT) for the management of pain, anxiety, sleep problems and discomfort. However, nursing students are generally not taught about CT. Furthermore, nurses are not taught how to communicate about patients’ complementary health seeking behavior, nor how to integrate CT in their nursing practice. The aim of this literature review was to explore what has been published about CT in nursing education. Methods: A systematic search was performed in the MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL and Cochrane databases. Articles on educational courses, programs and lectures were included. Instructions for nurses as part of clinical studies were excluded, as these do not reflect formal nursing education. Data was analysed with qualitative content analysis. Furthermore, we extracted data on educational context, educational content and educational methods. Results: From 5273 records, sixteen articles were eligible. The course content varied but suggested that general information about CT and hands-on techniques is important, such as practicing communication about CT and critical thinking skills. A range of methods were used to teach, but only three articles described competencies, which included emphasis on safety and good communication skills. Conclusion: Despite patients’ high CT use and demand for information from health care professionals about its use, information on how such knowledge is implemented in nursing education is scarce, especially in Europe. Developing a handbook for teachers about how to teach nursing students in Europe about CT in the context of nursing is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102138
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Volume52
Early online date15 May 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is part of an EU funded project by Erasmus Plus (KA203 Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education): ‘The Integrative Nursing Education Series’(2019-1-NL01-KA203-060478).

Funding Information:
This study is part of an EU funded project by Erasmus Plus (KA203 Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education): ‘The Integrative Nursing Education Series’(2019-1-NL01-KA203-060478). We would like to thank Ko Hagoort, English editor at the Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands for his help preparing the manuscript. Thanks to Maarten Engel, biomedical information specialist from the medical library at the Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands for his help in the literature search. The authors confirm that the data supporting the findings and conclusion of this study are available within the article and its supplementary materials.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

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