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Original Research

Use and Attitudes of Complementary and Alternative Medicines Among Allied Health Sciences Students, University of Peradeniya

Authors:

Kavindi Dayarathana,

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, LK
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M.H.F. Sakeena,

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Gayan Bowatte

Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

Background: Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) consists of a group of medical and health care systems, practices, and products delivered outside the mainstream health care system. CAM treatments can be used not only to treat diseases but also to promote wellness, disease prevention, and manage symptoms. However, someone’s attitudes toward health may contribute to seeking CAM treatments. This study aimed to investigate the use and attitudes of CAM among Allied Health Sciences (AHS) students at the University of Peradeniya.


Methods:
An online questionnaire was used and all AHS students at the University of Peradeniya were invited to participate. The questionnaire comprised three parts: Part A) demographic data, Part B) usage of complementary and alternative medicines and Part C) attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicines. CAM usage and attitude differences between different degree programs and academic years were compared.


Results:
Of the 601 students invited, 314 (52.2%) responded to the questionnaire. Among them, 143 participants (45.5%) had used CAM during the past 12 months. Of them, vitamins were the most used CAM. Most participants (70.1%) had used CAM to improve their health, while (68.5%) had selected CAM to reduce side effects. More than one-third of students showed positive attitudes towards CAM. There were significant differences in CAM usage between students of pharmacy/nursing and MLS/Radiography/Physiotherapy, while there was no difference in attitudes regarding CAM. There were differences in attitudes concerning CAM between senior and junior students, however no difference in CAM usage.


Conclusion:
This study found that AHS students commonly reported using CAM. A comparison between Pharmacy/Nursing and MLS/Radiography/Physiotherapy students suggests that pharmacy/nursing education is associated with improved awareness and use of CAM among AHS undergraduate students in a Sri Lankan university.  

How to Cite: Dayarathana K, Sakeena MHF, Bowatte G. Use and Attitudes of Complementary and Alternative Medicines Among Allied Health Sciences Students, University of Peradeniya. Sri Lankan Journal of Health Sciences. 2022;1(1):10–8. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljhs.v1i1.25
Published on 06 Jul 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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