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Cross-sectional study
Complementary and alternative medicine is popular among chronic renal failure patients – renal teams must increase their competence to advise patients with respect to efficacy and safety
  1. Rainer Nowack1,
  2. Rainer Birck2
  1. 1Center for Nephrology and Dialysis, Lindau/Bodensee, Germany
  2. 2Fifth Department of Medicine, University Hospital Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Rainer Nowack
    Center for Nephrology and Dialysis, Dialysezentrum Lindau, Friedrichshafener Str. 82; D-88131 Lindau, Germany; nowack{at}dialyse-lindau.de

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Implications for practice and research

  • Renal nurses should realise that a substantial subset of their patients use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat their renal disease.

  • Active inquiry about CAM is warranted, as some products may be harmful for the patient (eg, by causing interactions with medication).

  • To better advise patients, nurses and physicians need to improve their knowledge about efficacy and safety of CAM.

  • For the sake of the patient's safety, research on nurses' communication skills is warranted. Nurses need to be trained to inquire successfully about CAM usage, (eg, by using structured questionnaires).

Context

A substantial subset of patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) has to accept that their disease will progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) despite modern evidence-based therapy. Dialysis-dependency is a bitter burden and patients fear the …

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