Anesthesia & Clinical Research

Anesthesia & Clinical Research
Open Access

ISSN: 2155-6148


Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of Oncology Nurses towards Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Cancer Care in Qatar

Hassan A, Allam A, Al Kindi S, Abu Zeinah G, Eziada S and Bashir A

Aim and objectives: The aim of this study is to investigate the knowledge, attitudes and practices of oncology nurses towards CAM in cancer care in Qatar. Background: CAM is widely used by patients with cancer worldwide. Given the wide use of CAM in cancer treatment, cancer authorities have called for an increased awareness of CAM modalities among healthcare professionals with a focus on safety and efficacy. Among healthcare professionals, nurses play a vital role in the integration of CAM into cancer care. Few studies have explored the attitudes, practice and knowledge of nurses towards CAM in cancer care. Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study. Research variables: CAM attitude; knowledge and professional practice. Methods: An anonymous survey of a sample of 156 random oncological nurses was conducted at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR) in Doha, Qatar. A semi-structured novel 17-item questionnaire was administered to 156 participating oncology nurses. The questionnaire collected information on: respondents’ knowledge of complementary therapy; perceived benefits and harm of complementary therapy; history of CAM recommendation to patients; and finally, interest in complementary therapy educational opportunities. Results: Our study showed that 11% of respondent oncological nurses had never heard about CAM therapy. Most nurses had a positive attitude towards CAM and were interested in CAM education opportunities. Conclusion: There is a need for increased knowledge about CAM by oncology nurses; given their vital role in the overall management of cancer patients. This can be achieved through structured and comprehensive education/ training programs as well as through the integration of CAM therapy into cancer care guidelines. Relevance to clinical practice: To ensure safe, efficacious and holistic cancer treatment, it is important for nurses to be knowledgeable of complementary therapy; to candidly discuss this topic with patients; and when possible, to offer CAM resources to patients.

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