Complementary therapy practice: defining the role of advanced nurse practitioners
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The purpose of the study was to identify the current and perceived clinical role functions of advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs) within the complementary health paradigm and their learning needs. Participants were asked to identify their referral practices to complementary practitioners, current and perceived clinical activities with respect to six most popular complementary therapies, learning needs and concerns regarding their use. A random sample of 389 ANPs registered with the College of Nurses of Ontario participated in a mailed survey using a modified Dillman approach, an established method for improving response rate through repeated mailings. An overall response rate of 55.3% (215 out of 389 eligible participants) was achieved. The results show that ANPs are currently engaged in clinical activities involving these therapies, with a trend towards more participation in assessing the need for them and counselling on the risks and benefits. ANPs are interested in validating the use of these therapies and acquiring more knowledge on the scientific principles, evidence of efficacy, pharmacology and potential interactions with conventional medicine.
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