gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Nursing Research and Complementary Medicine

Meeting Abstract

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27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocIS029

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Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Etzel.
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An evidence-based approach to nursing is by no means a new phenomenon, but one that has been in existence at least since Florence Nightingale’s research into patients’ needs and the influence of environmental factors on health. Despite this tradition, nursing research in German-speaking countries is still a relatively young scientific discipline that has only seen increasing development in the last 10 years. An evidence-based approach has since found vocal support within German health legislation, where there are calls for “efficient and cost-effective nursing” based on “scientific findings”. However, third party funding for nursing research still only exists on a very limited scale. This is mainly due to that fact that there are still too few funding bodies actively involved in the field of nursing, resulting in a very limited level of financial and therefore also human resources for nursing research. Oncology nursing research concentrates on areas of direct nursing practice, perspectives of patients and their relatives, development of theory and methods and the care structures within the Health Care System. Complementary nursing methods offer a wide range of nursing research opportunities and include the application of compresses and poultices, herbal remedies, essential oils and various forms of embrocation. When using these methods to alleviate symptoms, nursing is taking advantage of centuries-old knowledge and experience. However, there has so far been little scientific research into these practices and members of the nursing administration and nursing research staff at the Tumor Biology Center in Freiburg, Germany would like to at least partly fill this knowledge gap by implementing their research programme. Currently, a prospective and controlled study of the effectiveness of lavender oil compresses in treating mild to moderate sleep disturbances is in progress. Sleep disturbances are very common among oncology patients, particularly when in hospital. Proving the effectiveness of lavender oil compresses would not only represent a contribution to a continued evidence-based approach to complementary nursing care. Since a large number of cancer patients are reluctant to take additional medication and would like to play an active role in their own health care, this would also promote patient-oriented care in oncology.