Title

Undergraduate Nursing Students' Knowledge and Perceptions of Alternative and Complementary Therapies

Document Type

Thesis

Publication Date

2003

Advisor

Carie Braun, Nursing

Abstract

Nurses, along with other health care providers, consumers, insurers, and legislators, have demonstrated an interest in the research and use of alternative/complementary therapies (Snyder & Lindquist, 1998). A/CTs include such modalities as acupuncture, herbal medicines, chiropractic care, and homeopathy. Little is known, however, about perceptions of nursing students and the impact of exposure to A/CTs and subsequent expectations about what should be taught in a nursing curriculum. Therefore, this study set out to answer the following research questions: How much do undergraduate nursing students currently know bout A/CTs? Which A/CTs, if any, should be included in nursing curricula and at what level? In order to answer these questions, this exploratory study was based on an anonymous cross-sectional self-report paper-pencil survey. The sample was drawn from undergraduate nursing students in two Midwest higher education institutions with one collective nursing department. The survey examines demographic information, general perception of A/CTs and utilization patterns and perceptions of individual therapies. Data analysis is descriptive and seeks to answer the research questions. This study has major implications for systematic curricular incorporation of A/CTs as appropriate to undergraduate Baccalaureate-level nursing students.

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