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Nurse Practitioners Experience With Herbal Therapy

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Technical Report

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Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States

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Use of herbal therapy has dramatically risen in the last decade. Advertisement and access to these supplements has also grown. Patient use, benefits, and potential adverse effects of herbal therapy have been well documented in the literature, but provider response to this phenomenon has not been well documented. The purpose of this study was to explore and describe nurse practitioners experience with herbal therapy. Grounded theory methodology, a qualitative research approach, guided the research process. A purposeful sample of 8 Air Force nurse practitioners was interviewed. Data collection and analysis occurred simultaneously using coding and categorization until saturation had been established and a core variable emerged. Results identified nine theme categories related to knowledge, safety, validity and effectiveness, responsibility, time, cost, complementary vs. Western medicine, patientprovider relationship, and prescribing vs. recommending. Knowledge of herbal therapy and the acquisition thereof emerged as thecore variable in this study. Knowledge influenced how much herbal therapy was incorporated into practice, which contributed to overall experience. As experience expanded, this further contributed to the body of knowledge on herbal therapy. As more and more patients use herbs to attain or maintain a state of well-being, this study highlights the need for nurse practitioners to remain current and focus on knowledge acquisition regarding herbal therapy.

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