Medical Student Attitudes Toward Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Medicine

Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, Vol. 2011, Article ID 985243

14 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2012  

Ryan Abbott

University of Surrey School of Law; University of California, Los Angeles - David Geffen School of Medicine

Ka-Kit Hui

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Ron D. Hays

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jess Mandel

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Michael Goldstein

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Babbi Winegarden

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Dale Glaser

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Laurence Brunton

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

While the use of complementary, alternative and integrative medicine (CAIM) is substantial, it continues to exist at the periphery of allopathic medicine. Understanding the attitudes of medical students toward CAIM will be useful in understanding future integration of CAIM and allopathic medicine. This study was conducted to develop and evaluate an instrument and assess medical students’ attitudes toward CAIM. The Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine Attitudes Questionnaire (CAIMAQ) was developed by a panel of experts in CAIM, allopathic medicine, medical education and survey development. A total of 1770 CAIMAQ surveys (51% of US medical schools participated) were obtained in a national sample of medical students in 2007. Factor analysis of the CAIMAQ revealed five distinct attitudinal domains: desirability of CAIM therapies, progressive patient/physician health care roles, mind-body-spirit connection, principles of allostasis and a holistic understanding of disease. The students held the most positive attitude for the “mind-body-spirit connection” and the least positive for the “desirability of CAIM therapies”. This study provided initial support for the reliability of the CAIMAQ. The survey results indicated that in general students responded more positively to the principles of CAIM than to CAIM treatment. A higher quality of CAIM-related medical education and expanded research into CAIM therapies would facilitate appropriate integration of CAIM into medical curricula. The most significant limitation of this study is a low response rate, and further work is required to assess more representative populations in order to determine whether the relationships found in this study are generalizable.

Keywords: Medical student attitudes, complementary, alternative and integrative medicine, medical education

Suggested Citation

Abbott, Ryan and Hui, Ka-Kit and Hays, Ron D. and Mandel, Jess and Goldstein, Michael and Winegarden, Babbi and Glaser, Dale and Brunton, Laurence, Medical Student Attitudes Toward Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative Medicine (2009). Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, Vol. 2011, Article ID 985243. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2018415

Ryan Benjamin Abbott (Contact Author)

University of Surrey School of Law ( email )

Guildford
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

University of California, Los Angeles - David Geffen School of Medicine ( email )

1000 Veteran Avenue, Box 956939
Los Angeles, CA 90095-6939
United States

Ka-Kit Hui

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Ron D. Hays

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Jess Mandel

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Michael Goldstein

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Babbi Winegarden

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Dale Glaser

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Laurence Brunton

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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