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New App for Herbs

Monday, February 03, 2014
Many of our patients arrive already using herbs, supplements, and other complementary therapies and often, patients either want to add a therapy after being diagnosed with cancer. Even patients who were not previously utilizing complementary therapies sometimes wish to start these therapies once a cancer diagnosis is made. The challenge for clinicians is finding easy-to-access, reliable information about them.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center compiled a free app for iPhones, iPods, and iPads called “About Herbs.” There is a feature to browse the alphabetical content or search the application for specific information. Each item under the “professional” tab has a clinical summary, description of the mechanism of action, list of contraindications, list of adverse reactions, a literature summary and critique, and references. The references link to PubMed. Each item under the “consumer” tab has sections on how it works, purported uses, research evidence, “do not take if,” and side effects.

Whether used by the clinician or by our patients, the site is easy to navigate and the information is current and reputable. It’s a handy app to have on the phone in your pocket.

Talk about this article with nurses and others in the oncology community in the General Discussions Oncology Nursing News discussion group.
Lisa Schulmeister, MN, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN
Blog Info
Lisa Schulmeister, MN, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN is an oncology nursing consultant and editor-in-chief of Oncology Nursing News.
Author Bio
Lisa Schulmeister, MN, RN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, is the Editor-in-Chief for OncLive Nursing. She is an oncology nursing consultant and adjunct assistant professor of nursing at Louisiana State Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA. She provides continuing nursing education to nurses across the Unites States, is active in several professional nursing organizations, and is intrigued by the many ways nurses use technology to communicate.
External Resources

MJH Associates
American Journal of Managed Care
MD Magazine
Pharmacy Times
Physicians' Education Resource
Specialty Pharmacy Times
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