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Original Research

RMJ. 2008; 33(2): 231-234

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: attitude of medical community in Pakistan.

M. Nasir Afzal, Sajida Naseem.

Objective: To determine the awareness and use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) among General Practitioners (GP’s) and Medical students in Islamabad/ Rawalpindi area.
Subjects and Methods: In this descriptive study, a self-administered proforma with eight questions was distributed to randomly selected GP’s in Islamabad and Rawalpindi area and final year medical students of Shifa college of medicine, Islamabad in 2005-2006. Responses of the participants were analyzed by computer software SPSS version 10.
Results: Up to 71% GP’s and medical students claim to have self knowledge about CAM. Less than 31% had any formal education (workshop or seminar) about CAM. Less than 45% claim to have used it personally or refer patients for CAM therapy. More than 80% take history from patients about CAM use and about 50% had noted significant side effects of CAM. More than 50% GP’s and students think that homeopathy, herbal medicine and acupuncture are effective way of treatment and recommend strongly to include those at National level.
Conclusion: Knowledge of GP’s and final year medical students about CAM is predominantly based on self-learning without any formal education on this subject. Practice of CAM is quite similar in terms of personal use, patient referral, patient history taking and witnessing of side effects in both groups. (Rawal Med J 2008;33:231-234).

Key words: Complementary medicine, Alternative medicine, General Practitioners, Medical students.

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