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Survey Shows Knowledge, Positive Attitudes about CAM
A recent survey reported that many oncology nurses had positive attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). These attitudes, however, varied according to the nurses' beliefs, practice, and role.
Researchers at the Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, CA, wanted to describe oncology nurses' CAM knowledge and attitudes. They asked a random sample of 850 Oncology Nursing Society members, who were RNs involved in direct care, to complete a demographic questionnaire and the Nurse Complementary and Alternative Medicine Knowledge and Attitude survey.
They found that participants had a mean CAM knowledge score of 70%. Assessing such CAM knowledge is important for developing appropriate educational programs that will help nurses support and advocate for patients, the researchers say. "In addition, assessing CAM attitudes will provide insight for realizing and sustaining robust changes to health care." Overall, they conclude, oncology nurses should be prepared with insightful CAM knowledge and attitudes to provide prudent and unbiased information to patients. For more information on this article, see the March 2009 issue of Oncology Nursing Forum.