Knowledge and attitudes of Israeli high school pupils towards alternative medicine

Patient Educ Couns. 2003 Jan;49(1):85-9. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(02)00050-2.


One hundred ninety-seven high school students were examined concerning their knowledge and attitudes towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The students attended the 9-12th grades. The score level of the pupils' knowledge was quite satisfactory (67%). The knowledge didn't change during the 4 years of high school attendance and was not correlated with the pupils' grades or the socio-economic status (SES) data. The majority of the pupils showed positive attitudes towards the topics and treatment methods of CAM. The pre-existence of chronic diseases in the family and experience of family members with CAM had a positive influence upon pupils' attitudes. The principal sources of knowledge concerning CAM were the media (TV, radio and newspapers) and other acquaintances' experience with CAM. Sixty-nine percent of the pupils expressed their willingness to attend formal lessons and instruction about CAM in school. Our suggestion is to teach these topics formally in school with professional instructors (physicians and/or academic healers) during biology lessons.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Complementary Therapies / education
  • Complementary Therapies / psychology
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Mass Media
  • Occupations
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Students / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires