Background: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has increased in many countries, and this has altered the knowledge, attitudes, and treatment recommendations of health professionals in regard to CAM.
Methods: Considering Mexican health professionals׳ lack of knowledge of CAM, in this report we surveyed 100 biomedical researchers and Ph.D. students and 107 specialized physicians and residents of a medical specialty in Guadalajara, México (Western Mexico) with a questionnaire to address their attitudes, knowledge, use, and recommendation of CAM.
Results: We observed that significantly more researchers had ever used CAM than physicians (83% vs. 69.2%, P = .023) and that only 36.4% of physicians had ever recommended CAM. Female researchers tended to have ever used CAM more than male researchers, but CAM use did not differ between genders in the physician group or by age in either group. Homeopathy, herbal medicine, and massage therapy were the most commonly used CAMs in both the groups. Physicians more frequently recommended homeopathy, massage therapy, and yoga to their patients than other forms of CAM, and physicians had the highest perception of safety and had taken the most courses in homeopathy. All CAMs were perceived to have high efficacy (>60%) in both the groups. The attitude questionnaire reported favorable attitudes toward CAM in both the groups.
Conclusions: We observed a high rate of Mexican health professionals that had ever used CAM, and they had mainly used homeopathy, massage therapy, and herbal medicine. However, the recommendation rate of CAM by Mexican physicians was significantly lower than that in other countries, which is probably due to the lack of CAM training in most Mexican medical schools.
Keywords: Attitudes and Mexico; Biomedical researchers; Complementary and alternative medicine; Physicians; Recommendation; Use.
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