BACKGROUND: Disagreement exists regarding the need for knowledge about complementary and integrative health (CIH) strategies, as well as for the need to consider such strategies in clinical nursing practice.
OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to assess the knowledge, attitude and use of CIH strategies among nurses in Iran.
DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS AND INTERVENTIONS: A cross-sectional study of nurses working in two hospitals of Zabol University of Medical Sciences, in southeast Iran, was conducted from October 2014 to April 2015. The questionnaire, developed specifically for this research, was used to assess the knowledge, attitude and use of CIH by nurses. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to interpret the survey responses.
RESULTS: Most nurses (n=95, 60.5%) have average knowledge about CIH strategies with most holding a positive attitude about use (n=81, 51.6%). The majority (n=90, 57.3%) of nurses, however, never applied CIH methods. Where CIH was used, massage was most often clinically applied (n=129, 82.2%) and a large percentage believed it useful for treating illness (n=136, 87.9%). Other CIH methods commonly used included prayer and herbal medicine.
CONCLUSION: Nurses have positive attitudes about CIH though knowledge was typically weak. Educational programs should carefully consider how knowledge about CIH methods could be strengthened within curricula.
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