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MEDICAL EDUCATION
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 120-126

Attitude of Saudi medical students towards complementary and alternative medicine


1 Department of Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Professor of Family Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Medical Students at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Badr O Albadr
Department of Family Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, P.O. Box 22490, Riyadh 11426
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_98_17

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BACKGROUND: Alternative medicine is defined as medical therapies that are not regarded as orthodox by the medical profession. The teaching of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in medical schools is becoming prevalent worldwide. Only a few studies have been done to assess medical students' attitude toward CAM and the need for CAM courses. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An observational, descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted on medical students in two universities, King Saud (KSU) and Majmaah (MU) medical colleges, between February and April 2015. A survey was developed and validated by a pilot study. Data were gathered from both colleges by means of hard and soft copy surveys. Medical students of both genders from the 1st year to the 5th year from both universities were targeted in this study. Fifth-year students from Majmaah and students from the preparatory year were excluded from the study. KSU students comprised 1433, while MU students comprised only 180. The sample size was 384. Data were analyzed using SPSS software. RESULTS: The study included 399 medical students. Bloodletting is the most known modality (80.7%), while homeopathy is the least known with a percentage of 7.47%. The overall assessment of the attitude toward CAM was neutral, with a mean of 3.1. Students who had taken a CAM course previously were more satisfied with their knowledge than those who had not, showing a statistical significance of P = 0.0001. CONCLUSION: This study showed a lack of knowledge of CAM among medical students. There was an association between taking a CAM course and students' satisfaction with their knowledge. Most of the students agreed with the inclusion of CAM courses in the medical curriculum.


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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010