Beliefs and attitudes of paramedical college staff towards complementary and alternate medicine
Background: Complementary and alternate medicine (CAM) has been defined as a group of diverse medical and healthcare systems, practices, and products not presently considered part of conventional medicine (CM). Studies in different countries have revealed a geographical difference in the knowledge about CAM therapies, especially among medical school staff and students. This study aimed to assess the extent of CAM use among staff working in paramedical colleges in the Riyadh region of Saudi Arabia and to examine their perception and attitudes towards such medicines.
Materials and methods: Eighty paramedical staff members of different age groups and specializations were invited to participate in the study. A self-administered questionnaire adapted from similar studies was used in this study.
Results: The response rate was 99%. The majority of respondents (56%) reported believing that CAM therapies play an important complementary role to the action of CM.
Conclusion: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to assess peoples’ attitudes towards CAM use in the region. As the use of healing practices outside of CM rise among patients, ignorance of CAM by future medical practitioners can cause a communication gap between people and the profession that serves them. It is encouraging that the majority of medical staff in this study recognizes and is enthusiastic to rectify this lack of knowledge.
Keywords: Complementary and alternate medicine, paramedical staffs, attitude, perception, beliefs