Journal article

A cross-sectional study on Swedish licensed nurses’ use, practice, perception and knowledge about Complementary and Alternative Medicine


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Publication Details

Author list: Jong, Mats;Jong, Miek C;Lundqvist, Veronica

Publication year: 2015

Start page: 642

End page: 650

Number of pages: 9

ISSN: 0283-9318


View additional information: View in Web of Science


Background: Only a few and relatively outdated population studies with respect to CAM use among the general population in Sweden exists. Those who has been made indicates that CAM usage is relatively high where 30-39% reports lifetime use and 20% use the last year, with massage, Naprapathy and Chiropracy being most common. Nurses are often involved in direct patient care and hold a unique role where issues of CAM can be communicated, but little is known about them as a group on the topic of CAM.Objective: The objective of this cross-sectional study was to describe licensed nurses’ use, practice, attitudes and knowledge about CAM. Method: In a web based survey Licensed Nurses were invited for participation through two different approaches: firstly from the member register of Vårdförbundet (the Swedish Association of Health Professionals), and secondly via a general invitation to formal and informal nursing associations, web communities and workplaces. A total number of 960 nurses responded to the survey, 83% were female and the mean age of the respondents were 46 years (±10.8).Results: Among the respondents, 83.4% reported to have used at least one CAM method within the last two years. The most prevalently used methods are within the categories of massage and Dietary supplements/probiotics/herbal remedies and Mind-Body therapies. Fifteen percent of respondents are practicing some form of CAM method; 69% of those among family and friends, 25% in a private business, and 37% (n=52) within the public health care (mostly different form of massage and mind-body practices). Of the respondents, 11.7% express that they ask patients about CAM use, the most common reason 38% (n=366) not to is lack of knowledge about CAM (and their legal position with respect to CAM). A high proportion (66%) agrees that healthcare personnel should inform clients about CAM treatments when asked about it.Conclusion: Swedish nurses do to a very high extent use different CAM methods for themselves, and also practice it to some degree. In spite of this, due to lack of knowledge, they do not regularly ask or inform patients about CAM methods. From the results of the study we can see that nurses are in need of better training and education about CAM, both in order to be able to meet the needs of the patients, but also for reasons of safety since interactions exist between dietary supplements/probiotics/herbal remedies and conventional drugs.


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