Effect of a traditional Chinese medicine course for undergraduate nursing students: A pre-/post-test study.
BACKGROUND:Traditional Chinese medicine is widely used for treating aging-related chronic conditions. Therefore, designing a TCM theoretical course for undergraduate nursing students will be a preparation for further clinical practice in TCM in the future. OBJECTIVES:To identify the effect of a TCM course designed for undergraduate nursing students on understanding four key parts of TCM theories. DESIGN:A quasi-experimental pre- and post-test study. SETTING:A university in China during the 2016 fall semester. PARTICIPANTS:A convenience sample of 47 senior undergraduate nursing students. METHODS:Each pair of pre- and post-tests were conducted before and after one lecture. Four pairs pre-/post-tests were conducted during lectures of fundamental theories, TCM diagnostic principles, herb properties, and treatment principles. Four questionnaires including ten multiple-choice questions were used for pre-/post-tests. Stata 14.0 was used for descriptive analysis and paired t-tests. RESULTS:Mean scores of post-tests were significantly higher than those of pre-tests (p < 0.001). Among pre-tests, the lowest correctness rates of key contents in the four lectures were the pathological relation of five elements (31.25%), the differentiation of symptoms for a case analysis (16.67%), the compatibility relation (12.77%), and the role of Monarch herbs (also called as "Principal herbs") and the characteristics of herbal pills (29.79%), separately; the highest were the nature of Yin-Yang (87.50%), identifying symptoms for a specific syndrome (85.42%), the herb usage (95.74%), and the principle of prescription composition (85.11%), separately. TCM knowledge in relation of nature of Yin-Yang and Five Elements and basic principles of TCM knowledge gained more increased correctness rates than that related to pathological-based and differentiation of symptoms. CONCLUSION:The TCM course has a positive effect to enhance TCM knowledge of undergraduate nursing students. The students were easier to gain TCM fundamental knowledge and principles than pathological based knowledge and differentiation of symptoms.
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