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Original Research

Beliefs and attitudes of medical and paramedical students toward complementary and alternate medicine

Kaushal Patel, Preeti Yadav, Nrupal Patel, Rahul Chaudhari, Jayshree Patel.


Background: India is a country with richness in traditional medicine from ages. Ayurveda one of the most commonly used medicines was originated in India. With the extent of use of allopathy medicines, alternate medicines were compromised in use. Studies among medical and paramedical students have revealed opinions differences in the knowledge about complementary and alternate medicine (CAM) therapies. Thus, to assess, knowledge and attitude of medical and paramedical students can be useful to evaluate their perception for CAM.

Aim and Objective: Primary objective is to assess the knowledge and perception among medical, physiotherapy, and B.Sc. nursing students toward CAM.

Materials and Methods: A prospective and observational cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted among medical, physiotherapy, and B.SC nursing students of New Civil Hospital, Surat. The principal investigator distributed questionnaires to the students at the end of their respective academic sessions in March┬ľApril 2018. At the pharmacology department, one of the researchers clarified answered forms.

Results: In the present study, a total of 400 students were distributed questionnaire and 392 (97%) responses were received. Among them, 205 (52%) were MBBS students, 75 (19%) were physiotherapy students, and 112 (29%) were nursing students. Out of 392 responses, 122 (31%) students were aware of CAM, while 187 (48%) students denied that they have used any CAM modality. Around 234 (60%) students said during history taking, patients should be asked about the use of any CAM modalities. A total of 243 students showed positive attitude by saying yes to have a formal or mandatory CAM training in medical or paramedical undergraduate curriculum.

Conclusion: Although students acknowledged the different CAM modalities, few of students could not define the CAM. Positive attitude was observed among students regarding CAM like; they wanted to improve in history taking process. Along with it, students were also desirous to take a formal or mandatory training regarding CAM.

Key words: Complementary and alternate medicine; Acupuncture; Ayurveda; Homeopathy; Massage therapy; Naturopathy

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