A Survey of Medical Students' Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Urmia, Iran

J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2016 Oct;21(4):306-10. doi: 10.1177/2156587215605751. Epub 2015 Sep 21.


Personal beliefs of medical students may interfere with their tendency for learning Complementary and Alternative Medicine concepts. This study aimed to investigate the knowledge and attitudes of medical students toward complementary and alternative medicine in Urmia, Iran. A structured questionnaire was used as data collection instrument. One hundred questionnaires were returned. Thirty-one percent of students reported use of alternative medicine for at least once. Iranian Traditional Medicine was the main type of alternative medicine used by medical students (93.5%). Neuromuscular disorders were the main indication of alternative medicine use among students (34.4%). Ninety percent of participants demonstrated competent knowledge about acupuncture while the lowest scores belonged to homeopathy (12%). Study results showed that 49% of medical students had positive attitudes and demonstrated a willingness to receive training on the subject. Thus, there appears a necessity to integrate complementary and alternative medicine into the medical curriculum, by taking expectations and feedbacks of medical students into consideration.

Keywords: Iranian traditional medicine; alternative medicine; complementary medicine; traditional medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Complementary Therapies / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Medicine, Traditional / psychology*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult