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. 2011 Mar;16(2):225-37.
doi: 10.1080/13548506.2010.532559.

Attitudes Towards Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Medical and Psychology Students

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Attitudes Towards Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Medical and Psychology Students

Darja Ditte et al. Psychol Health Med. .

Abstract

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing in Europe as well as in the USA, but CAM courses are infrequently integrated into medical curricula. In Europe, but also especially in the USA and in Canada, the attitudes of medical students and health science professionals in various disciplines towards CAM have been the subject of investigation. Most studies report positive attitudes. The main aim of this study was to compare the attitudes towards CAM of medical and psychology students in Germany. An additional set of questions concerned how CAM utilisation and emotional and physical condition affect CAM-related attitudes. Two hundred thirty-three medical students and 55 psychology students were questioned concerning their attitudes towards CAM using the Questionnaire on Attitudes Towards Complementary Medical Treatment (QACAM). Both medical students and psychology students were sceptical about the diagnostic and the therapeutic proficiency of doctors and practitioners of CAM. Students' attitudes towards CAM correlated neither with their experiences as CAM patients nor with their emotional and physical condition. It can be assumed that German medical and psychology students will be reluctant to use or recommend CAM in their professional careers. Further studies should examine more closely the correlation between attitudes towards CAM and the students' worldview as well as their existing knowledge of the effectiveness of CAM.

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