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Nurses' perceptions, Oncology, Unconventional therapy



  1. Fitch, Margaret I. R.N., Ph.D.
  2. Gray, Ross E. Ph.D.
  3. Greenberg, Marlene M.S.
  4. Douglas, Mary Sue R.N.
  5. Labrecque, Manon M.P.S.
  6. Pavlin, Peggi R.N.
  7. Gabel, Nancy R.N.
  8. Freedhoff, Sandra B.Sc.N.


Unconventional therapies have become increasingly popular with health care consumers in recent years. As patients seek information and attempt to make decisions about unconventional therapies, they often turn to nurses, asking their opinion about certain therapies. The nurse's attitudes and beliefs about unconventional therapies very likely will influence the response to the patient's inquiries. This work represents the findings of interviews with 48 nurses regarding their perspectives on unconventional therapies. Without exception, all nurses interviewed emphasized the need for information regarding unconventional therapies to be readily available for patients and health care professionals. The other themes identified in the interviews included the following: various people use unconventional therapies; people seek unconventional therapies for a variety of reasons; communication about unconventional therapies needs to be open; and conventional and unconventional practitioners ought to work collaboratively. The participants interviewed saw a clearly defined role for nurses regarding unconventional therapies.