Homework Topic 5

Define CAM

Treatment that deviates from the contemporary or mainstream treatment for diseases. These can be used as an alternative to mainstream treatment (alternative) or to complement the medical-based contemporary treatment (complementary) (Liu et al., 2021). CAM treatments range from herbal products and diet to practices such as yoga, meditation, colonic irrigation, and aromatherapy, among many others.

Describe the patient who uses CAM the most

A patient who uses CAM the most is a female adult aged between 45 and 65 years (Pietrzykowski & Smilowska, 2021). The patient is likely to have more than two conditions or a life-threatening condition such as cancer, HIV, and other medically untreatable conditions. The patient using CAM is also well-educated and likely from a middle or upper socioeconomic class.

List some common misconceptions about CAM.

The first misconception about CAM is that it is practiced by poor people and natives with little understanding of western medicine. Research shows that the highest users of CAM are educated and people from middle and high social classes. The second misconception about CAM is that it does not work. On the contrary, more and more medical doctors advise patients to seek alternative medicines such as diet and acupuncture that have shown effectiveness in various conditions (Sarman & Uzuntarla, 2022). Another misconception is that CAM doctors do not have formal training. Most CAM doctors, such as naturopathic doctors, need a degree and certification to practice.  

Identify methods of including the use of CAM in patient education.

The nurse or provider should have a collaborative discussion with the patient about the use of CAM. The nurse needs to explain the risks and benefits of CAM to allow the patient to make an informed choice. For example, patients should be advised not to use CAM without consulting their physician since some herbal products may not be safe when using blood thinners. While discussing CAM, practitioners should be open-minded to avoid forcing their beliefs on the patients and influencing their decisions to choose certain CAM therapies (Sarman & Uzuntarla, 2022). Patients using CAM therapy should be closely monitored to identify any side effects.

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Discuss the safe use of CAM.

There are various categories of CAM; some are naturally safe such as prayers and meditation, while others have been evaluated for safety and effectiveness, for example, acupuncture. On the other hand, some CAM therapies are surrounded by controversies about their effectiveness and safety, for example, hypnosis, biofeedback, oriental medicine, Ayurveda, and herbal-based therapies (James et al., 2018). When recommending CAM for the patients, the practitioner must be aware of the safety and risks associated with a particular CAM therapy and advise the patient accordingly.

List ways in which conventional medicine and CAM can be integrated.

Coordinating treatment that involves conventional medicine and CAM is called integrated. Integrative medicine combines contemporary cancer treatment with music therapy, massage therapy, body and mind therapies, and reflexologies in inpatient settings (Ganji et al., 2022). Secondly, CAM is integrated with conventional treatment in managing chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease that require lifestyle adjustment in terms of diets and physical activity. Similarly, a nutritional-based strategy is used with medicine to help people with obesity lose weight. Furthermore, nursing care can also be integrated with CAM, including massage therapy, meditation, aromatherapy, and relaxation exercise, among others.

Define ethical theories, ethical principles, and values.

Ethical theories are statements that describe morally acceptable actions. For example, the utilitarian theory argues that an action is morally right if it serves the majority’s best interest. Ethical principles are prescribed rules meant to promote ethical actions and make moral decisions when faced with a dilemma (Grant, 2021). For example, critical ethical principles in healthcare practice are respect for autonomy, justice and fairness, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. Values are characters or actions that motivate a particular behavior. Examples of values are honesty, respect, compassion, and fairness.

Provide examples of ethical issues in patient education and compliance, and describe ways in which an effective professional/patient relationship and a poor health professional/patient relationship can impact these issues.

Examples of ethical issues in patient education include power imbalance between the practitioner and the patient, miscommunication regarding contents of informed consent, contrasting treatment goals, miscommunication, and lack of supportive resources such as interpreters in cases of the language barrier (Hoskins et al., 2018). Effective professional/patient relationships can enhance collaboration, eliminating miscommunication and misunderstandings. On the other hand, poor professional/patient relationships can exacerbate these issues leading to ineffective patient education and missed opportunities to impart essential information.

Explain what is meant by “ethical patient education practices.

Ethical patient education provides positive and accurate information to the patient to help them improve their health outcomes and well-being through self-care, adherence to treatment regimens, and lifestyle changes (Hoskins et al., 2018). In ethical patient education, the discussion about medical and care issues must be conducted with honesty and openness, allowing the patient to understand various treatment options and have the autonomy to make an informed choice. Additionally, ethical patient education observes patients’ confidentiality and privacy to avoid violation of patient privacy.

Explain the purpose of informed consent.

The purpose of informed consent is to ensure that the patient is provided with different options for treatment detailing the risks and benefits and allowed to make an informed choice. Additionally, informed consent ensures that a patient has the autonomy to choose a treatment approach without undue influence or coercion by the health professionals (Pietrzykowski & Smilowska, 2021). Similarly, the purpose of informed consent is to ensure that the patient consents to any medical treatment or intervention.

Discuss what factors determine the patient’s ability to give informed consent.

The patient’s ability to give informed consent is determined by age. Pediatric patients cannot give informed consent except through their parents and legal guardians. The second factor that determines informed consent is the mental capacity of a patient (Grant, 2021). Patients who are mentally incapacitated. Such patients can have a family member or a person appointed by the court to make decisions on their behalf.

Compose a sample informed consent form.

I ………… agree to medical treatment ……… on date …… at ……… hospital.

I understand the treatment procedures, activities, potential risks and benefits of the treatment option chosen. I am also aware of other available options, and based on the information given, I have chosen the most effective treatment approach. I am aware of the treatment outcomes, the medications required, and the expected time of recovery.

I consent/not consent to pre-examination tests and the physician can chose an alternative procedure in case of a complication during an operation.

Name of patient                                          signature                                       date

Doctor’s name                                              signature                                       date

Discuss the process of communication to use with the patient and the family when obtaining informed consent.

The process of communication includes encouraging the patient and family and assuring them that everything will be well because fear and anxiety about the outcomes can make them not give informed consent or fail to be objective. Secondly, the health professional must treat the patient and family with compassion and empathy to make them know that the provider understands and feels what they are going through (Hoskins et al., 2018). Thirdly, the information relayed to the patient and his family should be clear, relevant, and delivered using an appropriate medium for their understanding.


Ganji, M. R., Jafari , F., Rezaeian, S., & Abdi, H. (2022). The Effect of Inhalation Aromatherapy and Music Therapy on Anxiety in Patients Undergoing Shockwave Lithotripsy: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/8015798.

Grant, S. (2021). Informed Consent—We Can and Should Do Better. JAMA Netw Open, 4(4), e2110848. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.10848.

Hoskins, K., Grady, C., & Ulrich, C. (2018). Ethics Education in Nursing: Instruction for Future Generations of Nurses. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1), https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No01Man03.

James, P. B., Wardle, J., Steel, A., & Adams, J. (2018). Traditional, complementary and alternative medicine use in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review. BMJ, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2018-000895.

Liu, L., Tang, Y., Baxter, G., Yin, H., & Tumilty, S. (2021). Complementary and alternative medicine – practice, attitudes, and knowledge among healthcare professionals in New Zealand: an integrative review. BMC Complement Med Ther, 21(1), 63. https://doi.10.1186/s12906-021-03235-z.

Pietrzykowski, T., & Smilowska, K. (2021). The reality of informed consent: empirical studies on patient comprehensiosystematic review. Trials, 22, 57. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13063-020-04969-w.

Sarman, A., & Uzuntarla, Y. (2022). Attitudes of healthcare workers towards complementary and alternative medicine practices: A cross-sectional study in Turkey. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 49, 102096. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eujim.2021.102096.

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