Manipal Journal of Medical Sciences


Background: Patients in developed nations increasingly use Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Integrative Medicine (IM). Previous studies have not examined student attitudes towards IM at Xavier University School of Medicine (XUSOM), a Caribbean medical school. Most students are citizens of the United States or Canada and will practice in these countries after graduation. Hence, the present study was conducted using the integrative medicine attitude questionnaire (IMAQ), a previously validated questionnaire. Methods: First to fourth semester premedical and undergraduate medical (MD) students were involved in the study. Respondents’ gender, semester of study and nationality were noted. Their degree of agreement with a set of 29 statements was studied using a modified Likert-type scale. The total score, openness, and relationship scores were compared among different subgroups. Free text comments were invited. Results: Sixty-two of the 79 students (78.5%) participated; 19 were premedical while 43 were MD students. The mean ± SD total score was 138.85 ± 15.84 (maximum score 203). The mean ± SD openness score was 94.69 ± 10.99 (maximum score being 147). The mean ± SD relationship score was 44.16 ± 8.18 (maximum possible score being 56). The scores were not significantly different among subgroups of respondents. The scores of certain statements were low. Conclusion: Student attitudes towards CAM and IM were positive and these can be considered for possible inclusion in the curriculum. Studies among students in the clinical years and in other medical schools are recommended. A longitudinal follow up of students can be considered.