Perceptions and self-use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) among Malaysian dental students

Muneer Gohar Babar, Shahzad Hasan Syed, Cho Min Naing, Nur Hidayah Binti Hamzah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: A high self-use of CAM by medical students has been reported however, studies of CAM use among dental students is limited. The present study assesses the perceptions and self-use of CAM among dental students in Malaysia. Methods: A cross-sectional study of the perceptions and self-use of CAM among 267 randomly sampled dental students from 1 public and 2 private universities in Malaysia was undertaken using a validated self-administered questionnaire. Descriptive and inferential statistics were calculated using SPSS ® version 18. Results: Seventy-six percent of the sample reported using CAM at the time of the survey. Of these, 21.7% (58) reported using Complementary Medicine (CM) and 16.5% (44) reported using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). More than half (204, 76.4%) of the participants were currently using CAM while 95.8% (256) had used it previously. Students perceived all types of CAM as effective (mean score ≤ 3). Lack of trained professionals was reported by 64% of the sample as the main barrier to the use of CAM. A majority of students (58.4%, n=156) reported that friends and family members were their main source of information about CAM. Students supported the integration of CAM education into their dental curriculum (mean score ≤ 3). Conclusions: Data from this study adds to the understanding of dental students' current and previous self-use of CAM. The dental students in this study agreed that CAM knowledge is necessary to be a well-rounded professional and supported the integration of CAM education in the dental curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e63-e69
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date15 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


Cite this