Treatments to reduce pain and anxiety focus primarily on pharmacological interventions. However, the increased use of medication is increasingly leading to adverse effects and opioid dependency. In addition, the medical and societal costs related to chronic conditions and medication intake are substantial, resulting in an increased interest in non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs). NPIs, such as massage, breathing exercises and music interventions, have been scientifically proven safe and effective in alleviating pain, reducing anxiety, and improving comfort and sleep. Evidence-based NPIs in combination with pharmacological treatments are part of Integrative Nursing (IN).
There is need to include NPIs/IN in the education curriculum for nurses. Patients use NPIs and nurses should be able to communicate with their patients about their health seeking behaviour and self-management. Moreover, there is ample scientific evidence for certain NPIs. Nurses should be able to use this latest scientific evidence in their daily practice and know when NPIs can be harmful for a patient.
We aim to develop the Integrative Nursing Education Series (INES), education for nursing students (Bachelor). The objectives are to strengthen European nurses’ knowledge, attitudes, competencies and skills on evidence-based and safe non-pharmacological interventions and its integration in patient care in all relevant health care settings.
INES will improve the quality of nurse education on NPIs/IN and bring more visibility to evidence-based practices that are currently not used in regular patient care. The partners will lay the foundation for this innovation in education and will continue this work by setting up a European Education Network on NPIs/IN.
Ultimately, the INES will have an impact on patient care in hospitals, nursing homes and in community care.