Graduation Year


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris PhD, RN, CNS


The purpose of this research study is to compare the views of traditional versus alternative treatments available to women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) suffering from metabolic complications. Alternative treatments include diet, exercise, herbal remedies, or any combination of the three. Pharmacological interventions for the conditions associated with PCOS such as metformin, used to control glucose levels, and clomiphene, used to treat infertility. Through the literature review, articles show herbs and plant products to have similar mechanisms of actions as the pharmacological interventions, but with less side effects. For example, cinnamon was shown to increase insulin sensitivity and pomegranate juice was shown to reduce ovarian cysts.

According to Levine’s nursing theory, the Four Conservation Principles, the manifestation of disease is a unique process, therefore the treatment must be modified to fit the patient’s presentation of their disease. The principle of conserving energy and structural integrity focuses on nutrition and exercise. By modifying these two variables, a patient with PCOS may decrease their chances of developing further complications such as diabetes, and may increase their chances at becoming pregnant.

To explore perspective on the issue of using herbal and plant products to treat the conditions associated with PCOS, a pilot study is proposed. For this study, a survey with quantitative and qualitative, open-ended questions will be collected to understand how patients and health care professionals perceive herbal and other plant products as a supplement to pharmacological treatments, or as a primary treatment for symptom management and prevention of complications.