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Alternative Therapies and Nurse Practitioners: Knowledge, Professional Experience, and Personal Use

Hayes, Kathleen M. MPH, MSN, WHNP, FNP; Alexander, Ivy M. MS, ANP

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

An anonymous questionnaire was mailed to all members of the Connecticut Nurse Practitioner Group, Inc. to identify their knowledge, and personal and professional experiences with alternative therapies. Of the 202 respondents (a 73% return), 78% described themselves as “slightly” or “quite” knowledgeable about alternative therapies in general and 63% reported personal experience. Approximately half of the nurse practitioners (NP) (49%) indicated they “sometimes” or “usually” ask about their clients' use of such therapies and 65% have referred for or recommended one or more of these modalities. Additionally, some NPs have provided alternative therapies directly (30%). One third (31%) indicated they had received training in one or more therapy(ies) and 65% would be “extremely” or “quite” interested in learning more.

Trinity College Health Center, Hartford, Connecticut (Hayes)

Assistant Professor, Yale University, School of Nursing, New Haven, Connecticut (Alexander)

The authors wish to extend their appreciation to Stephen Updegrove, MD, MPH, for his assistance in reviewing and editing this article and to the members of Connecticut Nurse Practitioner Group, Inc. for their responses to the survey reported here.

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