Objectives Integrative oncology (IO) is increasingly being incorporated in supportive and palliative cancer care. This study examined an IO-palliative care training programme for nurses from community and hospital settings.
Methods A 120-hour course, attended by 24 palliative care nurses without IO training, included precourse/postcourse questionnaires examining knowledge, attitudes and level of IO-palliative care skills. Qualitative analysis examined precourse and postcourse narratives.
Results Most (18; 75%) completed study questionnaires, with knowledge and attitudes towards IO changing only modestly and IO-related skills significantly for guidance on herbal medicine and lifestyle changes, manual-movement and mind-body modalities. Greater consultation skills were reported for fatigue, stomatitis, nausea, appetite, constipation/diarrhoea, insomnia, peripheral neuropathy and hot flashes. Trainees reported improved skills for pain (p=0.003), emotional (p<0.001) and informal caregiver-related concerns (p<0.001), with no change in palliative care-related skills. Qualitative analysis found both personal and professional attitude changes, with enhanced mindfulness and an expressed intent to implement the learnt skills in daily practice.
Conclusions The IO-palliative care nurse training programme increased IO-related and palliative care-related consultation skills for a wide range of quality of life-related concerns. Further research is needed to explore both short-term and long-term effects and the implementation of the learnt skills in clinical practice.
Trial registration number NCT03676153.
- Complementary therapy
- Education and training
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Contributors EB-A is the corresponding author.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.