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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 9370721, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9370721
Research Article

Knowledge and Attitudes towards Complementary and Alternative Medicine among Senior Medical Students in King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

1Family and Community Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80205, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
2Family and Community Medicine Department, Rabigh Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80205, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia

Received 2 December 2015; Revised 29 January 2016; Accepted 21 February 2016

Academic Editor: Jonathan L. Wardle

Copyright © 2016 Sami H. Alzahrani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. This study assessed the knowledge and attitudes regarding complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in medical students in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, it evaluated their views on the incorporation of CAM in their medical syllabus. Methods. The study was conducted by selecting a cross-sectional sample of senior medical students in the Faculty of Medicine. A validated and reliable self-administered questionnaire was used to explore the knowledge, attitude, and benefits of CAM. It was distributed to a sample of 273 students. Results. The study included 242 students, making the response rate 88.6%. Only two-thirds of students (62.4%) were aware of acupuncture principles and only 17.4% recognized that chiropractic is associated with pain management. The knowledge of common herbs such as St. John’s Wort, Echinacea, and Ginkgo biloba was limited among the students. Older students had a positive CAM attitude compared to younger students (). Conclusion. Students attitudes toward CAM learning were encouraging regardless of their limited knowledge on the subject. A high percentage of students agreed that CAM in combination with conventional therapy is beneficial in treating unusual cases, but the choice of CAM should be based on evidence. Furthermore, medical students are still reluctant to have CAM practitioners in their referral network.