Exploring self-use, attitude and interest to study complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among final year undergraduate medical, pharmacy and nursing students in Sierra Leone: A comparative study
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016, 16 (1)
- Issue Date:
© 2016 James et al. Background: CAM inclusion into the curricula of health training institutions, a strategy for its integration into the main stream healthcare delivery system is growing globally. Future healthcare professionals knowledge and perception of CAM are key determinants to its successful integration. Thus, the main objective of this study was to compare the use, attitude and interest to study CAM among final year undergraduate medical, pharmacy and nursing students at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences University of Sierra Leone (COMAHS-USL). Methods: A questionnaire based cross-sectional survey was carried out among final year medical, pharmacy and nursing students enrolled at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences University of Sierra Leone (COMAHS-USL). Chi square, fisher exact two tailed test and Kruskal-wallis test were used to analyze data collected. Results: Close to two-thirds (61%) of all the three groups of final year students used one form of CAM or the other with pharmacy (72.7%) and nursing (55.6%) students being the highest and least users respectively. No significant difference was observed among the three groups. In general, final year students in all three cadres demonstrated a positive attitude toward CAM (33.80 ± 3. 2) with medical students showing more positive attitude than pharmacy (p = 0.022) and nursing student (p = 0.008). No significant difference in attitude was observed between students in pharmacy and nursing programs (p = 0.354). More than three quarter (76.6%) of the students in all the three groups indicated their interest in studying CAM, with preference for the subject to be taught as an elective module (81.6%). Conclusion: An appreciable number of final year medical, pharmacy and nursing students at COMAHS-USL have used at least one CAM modality and demonstrated an overall positive attitude towards CAM. Interest to study CAM was also observed among most of them even though they preferred it to be taught as an elective module.
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