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1.  Public Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Riyadh Region, Saudi Arabia 
Oman Medical Journal  2012;27(1):20-26.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is well established worldwide. The present work is aimed at studying the knowledge, attitude and practice of CAM by the people of Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia.
A cross-sectional descriptive household survey study of the people living in Riyadh city, as well as the surrounding governorates. A multistage random sample was taken from 1st January to the end of March 2010, with a total number of 518 participants. Data were collected using a pre-designed questionnaire through direct interview. The data was collected based on socio-demography, as well as knowledge, attitude and practice of CAM.
Participants were nearly sex-matched, consisting of approximately 70% Saudi and 30% non-Saudis. About 89% of the participants had some knowledge of CAM. Mass media e.g. (T.V., newspapers and radio) and family, relatives and friends represented the main sources of CAM knowledge, (46.5% and 46.3% respectively). Nearly 85% of participants or one of their family members has used some form of CAM before, and the most common users of CAM practices were females, housewives, and illiterate subjects (or those who could just read and write), as well as participants aged 60 years and above. Medical herbs (58.89%), prayer (54%), honey and bee products (54%), hijama (35.71%) and cauterization or medical massage therapy (22%) were the commonly used CAM practices. Most participants agreed that there are needs for; CAM practices (93.8%), regulations for CAM (94.9%), health education (96.6%), specialized centers (94.8%) and CAM clinics (92.7%). While only 8.3% of participants usually discussed CAM with their physicians.
There is a high prevalence and increased public interest in CAM use in the Riyadh region. There is a positive attitude towards CAM, yet most participants are reluctant to share and discuss CAM information with their physicians.
PMCID: PMC3282134  PMID: 22359720
Complementary; Alternative medicine; Medical herbs; Body massage; Natural products; Prophetic medicine; Attitude; Safety; Efficacy; Saudi Arabia
2.  Use of Alternative Medicine by Saudi Liver Disease Patients Attending a Tertiary Care Center: Prevalence and Attitudes 
Background and Aims:
Complementary alternative medicine (CAM) covers many types of treatments and procedures that are usually not included in conventional medicine and are used in addition to physician-prescribed drugs to “complement” treatment. Although liver disease is prevalent in Saudi Arabia, not much is known about CAM use among Saudi liver disease patients. Thus, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of CAM use in these patients and their attitudes toward it.
Materials and Methods:
Patients were recruited randomly from a tertiary care hepatology clinic at King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from February 4 to March 20, 2012. A four-page questionnaire was used to interview patients.
Of all the 232 participants surveyed, 55.6% have used or are using CAM to treat their liver disease with 45.0% of CAM users stating that they believe it has a positive effect on their treatment. Honey was the most used CAM treatment among the participants (39.0%). Herb use was represented by 31.8% of all users, while 13.5% used bloodletting as a treatment. Cautery was the least used CAM method (3.4%). Nearly 76.6% of CAM users were satisfied with using alternative treatments to help control their disease. Nearly 69.4% of users and nonusers stated that they believe CAM treatments to have numerous beneficial effects. Nearly 60.5% of CAM users stated that their physician had no knowledge of their CAM use. Of the factors included in linear multivariate regression analysis (including: Age, gender, and family CAM use, among other socioeconomic factors) only family CAM use was considered a significant independent factor affecting participants CAM use (Beta = 0.582, 95% CI: 0.372-0.754, P = 0.0001).
More than half of the patients have reported CAM use. Overall, more than two-thirds of the entire sample believed that CAM treatments have numerous health benefits.
PMCID: PMC3632014  PMID: 23481133
Complementary alternative medicine; herbs; liver disease; Saudi Arabia
3.  Attitudes and perceptions of Australian pharmacy students towards Complementary and Alternative Medicine – a pilot study 
With the increased usage of CAM worldwide comes the demand for its integration into health professional education. However, the incorporation of CAM into health professional curricula is handled quite differently by different institutions and countries. Furthermore, the evaluation of CAM curricula is complicated because students' ability to learn about CAM may be influenced by factors such as student's prior knowledge and motivation, together with the perceptions and attitudes of clinical preceptors.
The study aimed to describe the attitudes, perceptions and beliefs of second, third and fourth year pharmacy students towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and to explore factors that might affect attitudes such as learning, preceptors and placements.
Pharmacy students from a University in South East Queensland, Australia participated in the study. The study consisted of a cross-sectional survey (n = 110) and semi-structured interviews (n = 9).
The overall response rate for the survey was 75%, namely 50% (36/72) for second year, 77.3% (34/44) for third year and 97.6% (40/41) for fourth year students. Overall, 95.5% of pharmacy students believe that pharmacists should be able to advise patients about CAM and most (93.7%) have used CAM prior to course enrolment. Students' attitudes to CAM are influenced by the use of CAM by family, friends and self, CAM training, lecturers and to a lesser degree by preceptors. The majority of pharmacy students (89.2%) perceive education about CAM as a core and integral part of their professional degree and favour it over an additional postgraduate degree. However, they see a greater need for education in complementary medicines (such as herbal medicines, vitamins and minerals) than for education in complementary therapies (such as acupuncture, meditation and bio-magnetism). Knowledge and educational input rationalised rather than marginalised students' attitudes towards CAM.
Pharmacy students perceive education about CAM as a core and integral part of their professional degree. Students' attitudes towards CAM can be influenced by learning, lecturers, preceptors and practice experience. The content and focus of CAM education has to be further investigated and tailored to meet the professional needs of our future health professionals.
PMCID: PMC2267156  PMID: 18221569
4.  CAM practitioners in the Australian health workforce: an underutilized resource 
CAM practitioners are a valuable but underutilizes resource in Australian health care. Despite increasing public support for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) little is known about the CAM workforce. Apart from the registered professions of chiropractic, osteopathy and Chinese medicine, accurate information about the number of CAM practitioners in the workforce has been difficult to obtain. It appears that many non-registered CAM practitioners, although highly qualified, are not working to their full capacity.
Increasing public endorsement of CAM stands in contrast to the negative attitude toward the CAM workforce by some members of the medical and other health professions and by government policy makers. The marginalisation of the CAM workforce is evident in prejudicial attitudes held by some members of the medical and other health professions and its exclusion from government policy making. Inconsistent educational standards has meant that non-registered CAM practitioners, including highly qualified and competent ones, are frequently overlooked. Legitimising their contribution to the health workforce could alleviate workforce shortages and provide opportunities for redesigned job roles and new multidisciplinary teams. Priorities for better utilisation of the CAM workforce include establishing a guaranteed minimum education standard for more CAM occupation groups through national registration, providing interprofessional education that includes CAM practitioners, developing courses to upgrade CAM practitioners' professional skills in areas of indentified need, and increasing support for CAM research.
Marginalisation of the CAM workforce has disadvantaged those qualified and competent CAM practitioners who practise evidence-informed medicine on the basis of many years of university training. Legitimising and expanding the important contribution of CAM practitioners could alleviate projected health workforce shortages, particularly for the prevention and management of chronic health conditions and for health promotion.
PMCID: PMC3528465  PMID: 23116374
5.  Complementary and alternative medicine use in oncology: A questionnaire survey of patients and health care professionals 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:196.
We aimed to investigate the prevalence and predictors of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use among cancer patients and non-cancer volunteers, and to assess the knowledge of and attitudes toward CAM use in oncology among health care professionals.
This is a cross-sectional questionnaire survey conducted in a single institution in Ireland. Survey was performed in outpatient and inpatient settings involving cancer patients and non-cancer volunteers. Clinicians and allied health care professionals were asked to complete a different questionnaire.
In 676 participants including 219 cancer patients; 301 non-cancer volunteers and 156 health care professionals, the overall prevalence of CAM use was 32.5% (29.1%, 30.9% and 39.7% respectively in the three study cohorts). Female gender (p < 0.001), younger age (p = 0.004), higher educational background (p < 0.001), higher annual household income (p = 0.001), private health insurance (p = 0.001) and non-Christian (p < 0.001) were factors associated with more likely CAM use. Multivariate analysis identified female gender (p < 0.001), non-Christian (p = 0.001) and private health insurance (p = 0.015) as independent predictors of CAM use. Most health care professionals thought they did not have adequate knowledge (58.8%) nor were up to date with the best evidence (79.2%) on CAM use in oncology. Health care professionals who used CAM were more likely to recommend it to patients (p < 0.001).
This study demonstrates a similarly high prevalence of CAM use among oncology health care professionals, cancer and non cancer patients. Patients are more likely to disclose CAM usage if they are specifically asked. Health care professionals are interested to learn more about various CAM therapies and have poor evidence-based knowledge on specific oncology treatments. There is a need for further training to meet to the escalation of CAM use among patients and to raise awareness of potential benefits and risks associated with these therapies.
PMCID: PMC3123324  PMID: 21609461
6.  Pakistani Pharmacy Students’ Perception About Complementary and Alternative Medicine 
Objectives. To assess Pakistani pharmacy students’ perceptions of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), the frequency with which they use CAM, and barriers to use of CAM.
Method. A CAM health belief questionnaire was administered to 595 students enrolled in a 5-year doctor of pharmacy program (PharmD) in Pakistan.
Results. Attitudes of students towards CAM were positive. Lack of evidence supporting CAM practices was considered to be the major barrier toward more students using CAM. A majority of students (79%) agreed that clinical care should integrate conventional medicine and CAM practices. Many CAM-based therapies, such as dietary supplements, massage, herbal medicines, and homoeopathic medicines were used by the students. Significant gender differences in attitude were observed, with male students having more conservative attitudes toward CAM use. A high percentage of students desired more training in CAM.
Conclusions. Pakistani students exhibited positive attitudes about the value of CAM and most felt that CAM should be included in the PharmD curriculum.
PMCID: PMC3305930  PMID: 22438593
pharmacy students; complementary and alternative medicine; perception; attitudes; Pakistan
7.  What rheumatologists in the United States think of complementary and alternative medicine: results of a national survey 
We aimed to describe prevailing attitudes and practices of rheumatologists in the United States toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments. We wanted to determine whether rheumatologists' perceptions of the efficacy of CAM therapies and their willingness to recommend them relate to their demographic characteristics, geographic location, or clinical practices.
A National Institutes of Health-sponsored cross-sectional survey of internists and rheumatologists was conducted regarding CAM for treatment of chronic back pain or joint pain. In this study we analyzed responses only from rheumatologists. Response items included participant characteristics and experience with 6 common CAM categories, as defined by the National Institutes of Health. Descriptive statistics were used to describe attitudes to CAM overall and to each CAM category. Composite responses were devised for respondents designating 4 or more of the 6 CAM therapies as "very" or "moderately" beneficial or "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to recommend.
Of 600 rheumatologists who were sent the questionnaire, 345 responded (58%); 80 (23%) were women. Body work had the highest perceived benefit, with 70% of respondents indicating benefit. Acupuncture was perceived as beneficial by 54%. Most were willing to recommend most forms of CAM. Women had significantly higher composite benefit and recommend responses than men. Rheumatologists not born in North America were more likely to perceive benefit of select CAM therapies.
In this national survey of rheumatologists practicing in the United States, we found widespread favorable opinion toward many, but not all, types of CAM. Further research is required to determine to what extent CAM can or should be integrated into the practice of rheumatology in the United States.
PMCID: PMC2824634  PMID: 20109215
8.  Changes in Attitudes of Japanese Doctors toward Complementary and Alternative Medicine—Comparison of Surveys in 1999 and 2005 in Kyoto 
We surveyed the attitudes of Japanese medical doctors toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in 1999. It is supposed that the situation concerning CAM has been changing recently. The aim of the present study is to survey the attitude of doctors toward CAM again, and to examine changes in attitude over the last 6 years. The attitudes of medical doctors belonging to the Kyoto Medical Association toward CAM were surveyed by a structured, self-administered questionnaire in 1999 and 2005. The results showed that the doctors familiar with the term “CAM”, practicing CAM therapies, and attending meetings or training courses related with CAM, increased significantly from 1999 to 2005. The doctors who possessed knowledge of CAM also increased significantly from 1999 to 2005. Almost all doctors believed in the effectiveness of Kampo (Japanese traditional herbal medicine) and acupuncture. The number of doctors who believed in the effectiveness of aromatherapy and ayurveda increased significantly in 2005, compared with 1999. In the near future, 58% of doctors desired to practice CAM therapies. In conclusion, the numbers of doctors who practice CAM therapies, possess CAM knowledge and desire to practice such therapies have increased over the last 6 years in Japan.
PMCID: PMC3136716  PMID: 19465404
9.  Attitudes Towards Complementary and Alternative Medicine Influence Its Use 
Explore (New York, N.Y.)  2010;6(6):380-388.
The aim of this study was to explore how attitudes towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and conventional medicine influence CAM use in a healthy population, and how health locus of control and exercise further affect CAM use.
A cross-sectional survey design was used.
The sample consisted of 65 healthy graduate students.
Main Outcome Measures
Since previous studies have focused on the attitudes of medical providers towards CAM, there are currently no standard, widely used measures of attitudes towards CAM from the perspective of the healthcare recipient. Thus, a new measure, the Complementary, Alternative, and Conventional Medicine Attitudes Scale (CACMAS) was created to address how attitudes of healthcare recipients affect CAM use. The Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale (MHLC) was used to investigate effects of health locus of control on CAM use, and participants reported which of 17 listed CAM treatments they had used in the past, were currently using, or would likely use in the future. Participants also reported days of exercise in the past month to explore if those engaging in healthy behaviors might report more CAM use.
Having a philosophical congruence with CAM and agreement with holistic balance was associated with increased CAM use. Dissatisfaction with conventional medicine was also related to increased CAM use, but to a lesser extent. Those attributing health to personal behaviors (an internal health locus of control) reported more CAM use, as did those engaging in more resistance training in the previous month.
PMCID: PMC3011931  PMID: 21040887
10.  Physicians' Attitudes Toward Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Their Knowledge of Specific Therapies: A Survey at an Academic Medical Center 
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the attitudes of physicians at an academic medical center toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies and the physicians' knowledge base regarding common CAM therapies. A link to a Web-based survey was e-mailed to 660 internists at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, USA. Physicians were asked about their attitudes toward CAM in general and their knowledge regarding specific CAM therapies. The level of evidence a physician would require before incorporating such therapies into clinical care was also assessed. Of the 233 physicians responding to the survey, 76% had never referred a patient to a CAM practitioner. However, 44% stated that they would refer a patient if a CAM practitioner were available at their institution. Fifty-seven percent of physicians thought that incorporating CAM therapies would have a positive effect on patient satisfaction, and 48% believed that offering CAM would attract more patients. Most physicians agreed that some CAM therapies hold promise for the treatment of symptoms or diseases, but most of them were not comfortable in counseling their patients about most CAM treatments. Prospective, randomized controlled trials were considered the level of evidence required for most physicians to consider incorporating a CAM therapy into their practice. The results of this survey provide insight into the attitudes of physicians toward CAM at an academic medical center. This study highlights the need for educational interventions and the importance of providing physicians ready access to evidence-based information regarding CAM.
PMCID: PMC1697740  PMID: 17173114
integrative medicine; physician attitudes; physician education
11.  CAM Curriculum Activities to Enhance Professionalism Training in Medical Schools 
Enhancing the professionalism of graduates is a major objective of most health care education institutions today. Educating conventional health care providers about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may directly and indirectly improve trainee professionalism by expanding trainees’ knowledge and appreciation of diverse health care beliefs and practices, improving physician-patient communication, enhancing self-care, and increasing sense of competence and job satisfaction. A survey based on professional competencies proposed by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine was administered to the grantees of the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine R-25 CAM education project initiative. The survey’s aim was to identify project activities that taught professionalism skills. All projects reported curricular features that enhanced trainee professionalism, with substantial percentages of project effort directed toward professionalism-related activities.
PMCID: PMC2675871  PMID: 19412352
medical education; professionalism; CAM training; curriculum; self-care
12.  Inflammatory bowel disease professionals’ attitudes to and experiences of complementary and alternative medicine 
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in patients with IBD is on the increase. Patients report they use CAM when their condition is unresponsive to conventional medication or when they suffer from side-effects, negative stress and disease-related concerns. CAM use may improve patients’ well-being but it can also lead to side-effects and interactions with conventional medications. Research on attitudes to and experiences of CAM among healthcare professionals working with IBD patients is not well studied. Studies in this area could lead to enhanced awareness of and improved communication about CAM between care staff and IBD patients. The aim of this study was to explore IBD professionals’ attitudes to and experience of CAM.
Sixteen physicians and nurses, 26–70 years old, who had worked with IBD patients for 1–42 years, were recruited. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted. Qualitative content analysis was performed.
Participants stated patients used CAM to improve their well-being generally and there conditions specifically. Participants had a positive attitude towards CAM and respected their patients’ decision to use it, but reported a lack of CAM knowledge. They required education about CAM to be able to meet patients’ needs and provide adequate information. The result of this study indicates that there is a need for CAM education to be implemented in nursing and medical school.
All participants had experience of IBD patients who had used CAM in an attempt to achieve improvement and well-being. Attitudes to CAM were mainly positive, although a problematic aspect was lack of knowledge and evidence in relation to CAM. Implementing CAM education in nursing and medical school will allow healthcare professionals to gain an understanding of therapies widely used by patients with IBD. In clinical practice, using a standard questionnaire regarding CAM use allow healthcare professionals to better understand their patients’ wishes and current CAM use.
PMCID: PMC3867669  PMID: 24325595
Attitudes CAM; Experiences; Healthcare professionals; IBD
13.  Attitudes and Practices of Massage Therapists as Related to Conventional Medicine 
Research into opinions about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has focused on conventional medical practitioners with little exploration of CAM practitioners’ views.
To survey attitudes and practices of massage therapists toward conventional medicine.
Research Design
An anonymous online survey consisting of Likert-type scales, fill-in answers, and multiple-choice questions was used.
Members of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP), the largest massage therapy association in the US with over 77,000 members.
Main Outcome Measures
Participants were asked about their years of practice and training, choice of health care practitioners, sources for information about CAM and Western/allopathic medicine, client referral patterns, optimal treatment approaches for various medical conditions, and overall impressions of CAM and Western/ allopathic medicine.
Analysis of n = 3,148 responses indicated that while 66.9% of respondents had a neutral or worse impression of Western/allopathic medicine, 64.3% use a conventional medicine practitioner as their primary health care provider, 61.9% have referred clients to a conventional medicine practitioner in the past six months, and 90.5% seek out information on Western/allopathic medicine. The mode response of the best treatment approach to various medical problems was a mix of Western/allopathic medicine and CAM.
This study suggests that despite the ambivalence of many massage therapists towards conventional medicine, many use it, encourage clients to do so, and see involvement of both as crucial to health.
PMCID: PMC3312644  PMID: 22553480
complementary; alternative medicine; attitudes; massage
14.  Characteristics and job satisfaction of general practitioners using complementary and alternative medicine in Germany - is there a pattern? 
The use of Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM) has increased over the past years. In Germany, many general practitioners (GPs) use CAM in their daily practice. However, little is known about possible differences of GPs using CAM compared to GPs not using CAM. The aim of the study was to explore differences in personal and practice characteristics, work load and job satisfaction of GPs depending on their use of and attitude towards CAM. Furthermore, predictors for CAM use should be explored.
A questionnaire was developed based on qualitatively derived data. In addition, a validated instrument assessing job satisfaction was included in the questionnaire, which was sent to 3000 randomly selected GPs in Germany.
1027 returned the questionnaire of which 737 indicated to use CAM in daily practice. We found that GPs using CAM are more female, younger and have a trend towards a healthier life style. Their practices have higher proportions of privately insured patients and are slightly better technically equipped with ultrasound. GPs with a positive attitude had significant better values within the job satisfaction scale and lower working hours per week compared to GPs with neutral/negative attitude. Significant predictors for CAM use were a positive attitude towards CAM, holding a special qualification in CAM, own CAM use and the availability of an ultrasound in practice.
The identified differences suggest that those GPs using and believing in CAM have a different medical orientation and approach which in turn may influence their job satisfaction. With this finding CAM use turns out to be a relevant factor regarding job satisfaction and, with this, may be a possible lever to counteract the growing dissatisfaction of GPs in Germany. This finding could also be important for designing strategies to promote the recruitment of young doctors to general practice.
PMCID: PMC3258195  PMID: 22182710
15.  Development and validation of the CAM Health Belief Questionnaire (CHBQ) and CAM use and attitudes amongst medical students 
The need for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and holistic approaches in allopathic medical school curricula has been well articulated. Despite increased CAM instruction, feasible and validated instruments for measuring learner outcomes in this content area do not widely exist. In addition, baseline attitudes or beliefs of medical students towards CAM, and the factors that may have formed them, including use of CAM itself, remain unreported.
A 10-item measure (CHBQ – CAM Health Belief Questionnaire) was constructed and administered to three successive classes of medical students simultaneously with the previously validated 29-item Integrative Medicine Attitude Questionnaire (IMAQ). Both measures were imbedded in a baseline needs assessment questionnaire. Demographic and other data were collected on students' use of CAM modalities and their awareness and use of primary CAM information resources. Analysis of CHBQ items was performed and its reliability and criterion-related validity were established.
Response rate was 96.5% (272 of 282 students studied). The shorter CHBQ compared favorably with the longer IMAQ in internal consistency reliability. Cronbach's coefficient alpha was 0.75 and 0.83 for the CHBQ and IMAQ respectively. Students showed positive attitudes/beliefs towards CAM and high levels of self-reported CAM use. The majority (73.5%) of students reported using at least one CAM modality, and 54% reported using at least two modalities. Eighty-one percent use the internet as a primary source of information for CAM.
The CHBQ is a practical, valid and reliable instrument for measuring medical student attitudes/beliefs and has potential utility for measuring the impact of CAM instruction. Medical students showed a high self-reported rate of CAM use and positive attitudes towards CAM. Short, didactic exposure to CAM instruction in the first year of medical school did not additionally impact these already positive attitudes. Unlike the IMAQ, which was intended for use with physicians, the CHBQ is generic in design and content and applicable to a variety of learner types. Evaluation measures must be appropriate for specific CAM instructional outcomes.
PMCID: PMC373452  PMID: 14718061
16.  Pediatricians' attitudes, experience and referral patterns regarding complementary/alternative medicine: a national survey 
To assess pediatricians' attitudes toward & practice of Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) including their knowledge, experience, & referral patterns for CAM therapies.
An anonymous, self-report, 27-item questionnaire was mailed nationally to fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics in July 2004.
648 of 3500 pediatricians' surveyed responded (18%).
The median age ranged from 46–59 yrs; 52% female, 81% Caucasian, 71% generalists, & 85% trained in the US. Over 96% of pediatricians' responding believed their patients were using CAM. Discussions of CAM use were initiated by the family (70%) & only 37% of pediatricians asked about CAM use as part of routine medical history. Majority (84%) said more CME courses should be offered on CAM and 71% said they would consider referring patients to CAM practitioners. Medical conditions referred for CAM included; chronic problems (headaches, pain management, asthma, backaches) (86%), diseases with no known cure (55.5%) or failure of conventional therapies (56%), behavioral problems (49%), & psychiatric disorders (47%). American born, US medical school graduates, general pediatricians, & pediatricians who ask/talk about CAM were most likely to believe their patients used CAM (P < 0.01).
Pediatricians' have a positive attitude towards CAM. Majority believe that their patients are using CAM, that asking about CAM should be part of routine medical history, would consider referring to a CAM practitioner and want more education on CAM.
PMCID: PMC1894987  PMID: 17547752
17.  Attitudes Towards Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Pharmacy Faculty and Students 
To determine pharmacy faculty members' and students’ attitudes and perceptions regarding the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
A survey was used to obtain data on the following information concerning CAM: general attitudes, perceived barriers to use, training received and desired, personal use, and information sources used.
In general, attitudes of pharmacy faculty members and students towards CAM were positive. Lack of evidence for CAM practices was considered the greatest barrier to the use of CAM by faculty members and students. Many CAM therapies were perceived to be effective. A high percentage of students desire more training in the areas of herbal medicine and nutritional supplements. Faculty members and students believe that CAM should be included in the curriculum.
General attitudes towards CAM are positive among pharmacy faculty members and students, and most believe that CAM should be taught in the pharmacy curriculum. More resources and training of faculty members may be necessary.
PMCID: PMC1803695  PMID: 17332855
complementary and alternative medicine; attitudes; students; faculty
18.  Knowledge and beliefs concerning evidence-based practice amongst complementary and alternative medicine health care practitioners and allied health care professionals: A questionnaire survey 
Evidence-based practice (EBP) has become an important competency in many allied and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) health care practitioners' professional standards of proficiency.
To compliment an EBP course for allied health care professionals and CAM practitioners, we undertook a questionnaire survey to assess learning needs. We developed a questionnaire to measure allied health care professionals and CAM practitioners' basic knowledge, skills and beliefs concerning the main principles of EBP. The questionnaires were administered to all attendees of one-day EBP workshops.
During 2004–5 we surveyed 193 allied health care professionals and CAM practitioners who attended one-day EBP courses prior to commencement of teaching. Of the respondents 121 (62.7%) were allied health care professionals and 65 (33.7%) practitioners stated that they work in the CAM field Our survey found that the majority of the respondents had not previously attended a literature appraisal skills workshop (87.3%) or received formal training in research methods (69.9%), epidemiology (91.2%) or statistics (80.8%). Furthermore, 67.1% of practitioners specified that they felt that they had not had adequate training in EBM and they identified that they needed more training and education in the principles of EBM (86.7%). Differences in knowledge and beliefs concerning EBP amongst allied and CAM practitioners were found and length of time since qualification was also found to be an important factor in practitioner's beliefs. More CAM practitioners compared to allied health professionals accessed educational literature via the Internet (95.3% v 68.1%, p = 0.008). Whilst, practitioners with more than 11 years experience felt that original research papers were far more confusing (p = 0.02) than their less experienced colleagues.
The results demonstrate that practitioner's learning needs do vary according to the type of profession, time since graduation and prior research experience. Our survey findings are exploratory and will benefit from further replication, however, we do believe that they warrant consideration by allied health care and CAM tutors and trainers when planning EBP teaching curricula as it is important to tailor teaching to meet the needs of specific subgroups of trainees to ensure that specific learning needs are met.
PMCID: PMC2533291  PMID: 18651937
19.  Knowledge, attitude and practice of tobacco smoking by medical students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 
Annals of Thoracic Medicine  2010;5(3):145-148.
Tobacco consumption is associated with considerable negative impact on health. Health professionals, including future doctors, should have a leading role in combating smoking in the community.
The aims of the study were to assess the prevalence of smoking among medical students of newly established medical colleges in Riyadh city, the capital of Saudi Arabia, as well as to assess students' attitude, practice and their knowledge on the risk factors of tobacco consumption.
A cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study of students from two medical colleges in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was carried out. The questionnaire used was anonymous, self-administered and developed mainly from Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS).
A total of 215 students participated in this study. Forty students (19%) indicated that they smoke tobacco at the time of the study. All of them were males, which raise the prevalence among male students to 24%. Tobacco smoking was practiced by males more than females (P value <0.0001) and by senior more than junior students (<0.0001). About 94% of the study sample indicated that smoking could cause serious illnesses. About 90% of the students indicated that they would advice their patients to quit smoking in the future and 88% thought that smoking should be banned in public areas. Forty-four students (20%) thought that smoking has some beneficial effects, mainly as a coping strategy for stress alleviation.
Despite good knowledge about the hazards of tobacco consumption, about 25% of the medical students in this study continue to smoke. The main reported reasons should be addressed urgently by policy-makers. Special efforts should be taken to educate medical students on the effective strategies in managing stress during their study as they thought that tobacco smoking could be used as a coping strategy to face such a stress.
PMCID: PMC2930652  PMID: 20835308
Medical students; Saudi Arabia; smoking
20.  Exploring the roles of librarians and health care professionals involved with complementary and alternative medicine* 
Objectives: The researcher conducted qualitative research about the role of health care professionals and librarians involved with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The goals were to identify resources these professionals use to explore the librarians' role as well as their approaches to teaching and searching with respect to CAM, to acquire information about CAM education, and to connect with other librarians in the CAM field.
Methods: Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were used.
Results: Sixteen health care and information professionals from ten different institutions in Boston, Baltimore, and Calgary were interviewed. Major themes from the interviews were: CAM funding, integration of CAM and conventional medicine, roles of librarians, “hot” CAM issues, and information access. Information about four aspects of CAM education—technology, undergraduate, graduate, and continuing—is presented. A wealth of information resources was identified.
Conclusions: A CAM librarian's role is unique; many specialize in specific areas of CAM, and opportunities exist for librarians to partner with CAM groups. CAM information professionals' major roles involve information access and retrieval and education. Further study is required concerning CAM consumer health, integrative CAM and conventional medicine models, and the librarian's role in a CAM environment. CAM funding is a major concern.
PMCID: PMC1324776  PMID: 16404474
21.  Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Competencies of Nursing Students and Faculty: Results of Integrating CAM Into the Nursing Curriculum 
As part of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) R25 Education Grant Program, a faculty development program for integrating CAM into the nursing curriculum was instituted in 2003-2006. The Integrating CAM program comprised a number of elements; the primary strategy included a series of 4-week didactic and experiential summer CAM “camps,” attended by a total of 27 faculty members. Camps were designed to influence faculty integration of CAM material into course offerings. The Integrating CAM program was evaluated via a series of faculty and student surveys regarding CAM competencies, attitudes, and perceptions. For more than half of the faculty (out of the 43 who responded), the program yielded a moderate-to-strong influence on incorporation of CAM material into course content; and moderate-to-great increases in both enthusiasm for CAM and perceived CAM knowledge gains. Students at all levels (undergraduate, masters, doctoral; n = 184) reported that their courses contained CAM content; for 70% of students, their CAM knowledge increased; for 50% of students, level of CAM interest increased. Self-reported student CAM competencies were significantly greater in 2006-2007 (n = 191) than in 2003-2004 (n = 143). Results support the strategy of broadly infusing the nursing curriculum with CAM content via faculty development.
PMCID: PMC2947349  PMID: 20869029
Complementary medicine; Alternative therapies; Nursing curriculum; Nursing faculty; Nursing students
22.  Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use among Physicians in Oriental Medicine Hospitals in Vietnam: A Hospital-Based Survey 
Interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is growing worldwide, even in Vietnam where traditional medicine is considered mainstream. We conducted a survey of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of CAM therapies among physicians in oriental medicine (OM) hospitals in Vietnam. A two-stage random selection process selected 337 physicians who were interviewed using a face-to-face method with a standardized structured questionnaire. Data from 312 physicians who completed the questionnaire suggested that oriental herbal medicine and acupuncture (Vietnamese OM version) were the more commonly used CAM modalities compared with Vietnamese folk medicine and other forms of CAM. A broad range of CAM modalities, particularly chiropractice, diet supplements, and dietary therapy, and an excessive proportion of western medication were employed in conjunction with OM in the physicians' daily practice. Their daily practice was influenced by the source of knowledge, education level, medical specialty, and working environment. These findings suggest that physicians in OM hospitals in Vietnam have interests in various forms of CAM therapies besides traditional modes.
PMCID: PMC3619628  PMID: 23634168
23.  An Active-Learning Assignment Involving Peer-to-Peer Presentations to Improve Pharmacy Students’ Attitudes and Knowledge of Dietary Supplements 
Objective. To design and implement a small-group self-guided active-learning format for a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) curriculum, and assess changes in first-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students' attitudes and knowledge of CAM.
Design. Students received an overview CAM lecture from a faculty member, and brief presentations with defined parameters on natural products from their peers.
Assessment. Based on pre- and post-intervention survey responses, the percentage of students who strongly agreed about the importance of CAM in pharmacy practice increased from 28% to 55% and the percentage of students who agreed or strongly agreed about the harmful effects of dietary supplements increased from 60% to 96%. Overall, students' attitude toward and self-assessed knowledge of dietary supplements improved significantly from pre- to post-intervention survey.
Conclusion. Small-group self-guided learning of CAM, followed by peer presentations on dietary supplements, was successful in significantly improving pharmacy students' attitude toward and knowledge of CAM.
PMCID: PMC3425928  PMID: 22919089
dietary supplements; complementary and alternative medicines; assessment; pharmacy education
24.  Decisions to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by male cancer patients: information-seeking roles and types of evidence used 
Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is increasingly popular with cancer patients and yet information provision or discussion about CAM by health professionals remains low. Previous research suggests that patients may fear clinicians' 'disapproval' if they raise the subject of CAM, and turn to other sources to acquire information about CAM. However, little empirical research has been conducted into how cancer patients acquire, and, more importantly evaluate CAM information before deciding which CAM therapies to try.
Qualitative study, comprising semi-structured interviews with 43 male cancer patients of varying ages, cancer type and stage of illness, 34 of whom had used CAM. They were recruited from a range of NHS and non-NHS settings in Bristol, England.
As a result of the lack of CAM information from health professionals, men in this study became either 'pro-active seekers' or 'passive recipients' of such information. Their main information resource was the 'lay referral' network of family, friends and acquaintances, especially females. 'Traditional' information sources, including books, magazines, leaflets and the media were popular, more so in fact than the internet. Views on the internet ranged from enthusiasm or healthy scepticism through to caution or disinterest. CAM information was generally regarded as 'empowering' as it broadened treatment and self-care options. A minority of participants were information averse fearing additional choices that might disrupt their fragile ability to cope. There was general consensus that CAM information should be available via the NHS, to give it a 'stamp of approval', which combined with guidance from informed health professionals, could help patients to make 'guided' choices. However, a small minority of these men valued the independence of CAM from the NHS and deliberately sought 'alternative' information sources and treatment options.
Men were selective in identifying particular therapies to use and sceptical about others, basing their choices on forms of 'evidence' that were personally meaningful: personal stories of individuals who had been helped by CAM; the long history and enduring popularity of some therapies; the plausibility of the mechanism of action; a belief or trust in individual therapies or their providers; scientific evidence. Scientific evidence ranked low in the men's personal decision-making about CAM, while it was recognised as important for NHS support for CAM.
These male cancer patients valued the support and guidance of 'trusted individuals' in making choices about CAM. Trusted health professionals could also play a significant role in helping patients to make informed choices. Any such dialogue must, however, acknowledge the different standards of evidence used by patients and clinicians to evaluate the benefits or otherwise of CAM therapies. Such open communication could help to foster an environment of mutual trust where patients are encouraged to discuss their interest in CAM, rather than perpetuate covert, undisclosed use of CAM with its attendant potential hazards.
PMCID: PMC2000907  PMID: 17683580
25.  Attitudes toward integrative paediatrics: a national survey among youth health are physicians in the Netherlands 
Integrative Medicine (IM) is an emerging field in paediatrics, especially in the USA. The purpose of the present study was to assess the attitudes and beliefs of Youth Health Care (YHC) physicians in the Netherlands toward IM in paediatrics.
In October 2010, a link to an anonymous, self-reporting, 30-item web-based questionnaire was mailed to all members of the Dutch Organisation of YHC physicians. The questionnaire included questions on familiarity with IM, attitudes towards Integrative Paediatrics (IP), use and knowledge of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), demographic and practice characteristics.
A total of 276 YHC physicians (response rate of 27%) responded to the survey. Of the respondents, 52% was familiar with IM and 56% had used some kind of CAM therapy during the past 2 years, of which self-medicated herbal and/or homeopathic remedies (61%) and supplements (50%) were most frequently mentioned. Most of the YHC physicians (62%) seldom asked parents of clients about CAM use. One third of the YHC physicians recommended CAM to their clients. In general, about 50% or more of the respondents had little knowledge of CAM therapies. Predictors for a positive attitude towards IP were familiarity with IM, own CAM use, asking their clients about CAM use and practising one or more forms of CAM therapy. Logistic regression analysis showed that the following factors were associated with a higher recommendation to CAM therapies: own CAM use (odds ratio (OR) = 3.8; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.1-6.9, p = 0.001) and practising CAM (OR 4.4; 95% CI = 1.6-11.7, p = 0.003).
In general Dutch YHC physicians have a relative positive attitude towards IP; more than half of the respondents used one or more forms of CAM and one third recommended CAM therapies. However, the majority of YHC physicians did not ask their clients about CAM use and seemed to have a lack of knowledge regarding CAM.
PMCID: PMC3293769  PMID: 22244450
National survey; Integrative Paediatrics; Attitudes; Youth Healthcare

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