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October 2021

Psychooncology. 1998 Nov-Dec; 7(6): 453-9.

Oncology nurses' attitudes towards alternative medicine.

Salmenperä L, Suominen T, Lauri S.

University of Turku, Department of Nursing, Finland.

Little is known about nurses' attitudes towards alternative medicine. The purpose of this study was to describe attitudes towards alternative medicine among nurses working on oncology wards in three university and one central hospital in Finland. The data were collected with a questionnaire specifically developed for this project. The response rate was 68.1% (n = 92). The nurses did not regard alternative medicine as a safe and natural method in the treatment of cancer. On the contrary, many nurses believed that alternative therapies are offered by quack doctors for financial gain. However, the nurses considered it important that cancer patients have the opportunity to talk about their use of alternative medicine both with nurses and physicians. Overall the results indicated that nurses' attitudes are for the most part negative. An interesting question that deserves further attention is whether this attitude is reflected in nursing practice.

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