Nursing & Care


Integrative Healing Health Care: Brief Experiential Education for Doctor of Nursing Practice Students

Sunny Y. Alperson

Background: To bridge the gap between chronic diseases affecting aging patients and provision of appropriate services, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) urges academic training institutions to incorporate Integrative Medicine (also known as Integrative Healing (or Holistic) Healthcare or IHHC) into their curricula. However, there is a lack of data on IHHC curricula for advanced nursing professionals. This study addresses the effect of a 4 hour experiential approach educational course on IHHC with DNP students and the resultant changes in attitudes toward IHHC and related variables.

Method: The design used repeated measure assessments with three well-validated IHHC survey instruments before and after the workshop: Integrative Medicine Attitudes Questionnaire, Self-Compassion Scale and Spirituality Perspective Scale. The participants who volunteered for this study were post-master DNP students from an urban university.

Results: 34 students participated in the workshop and 23 filled out both pre- and post- surveys. Significant pre- post improvements were demonstrated on all 3 measures. 

Conclusion: The data support the effectiveness of a 4 hour workshop format for DNP students in introducing IHHC education. The public healthcare need for changing healthcare professional education and practice toward an IHHC approach is urgent. Reforms of Nursing curricula and its barriers are discussed with an eye to aligning with IOM’s recommendations.