Date of Graduation

Spring 2014

Degree

Master of Science in Health Promotion and Wellness Management

Department

Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Melinda Novik

Keywords

complementary and alternative medicine, CAM, undergraduate education, dietetics students, attitudes, knowledge

Subject Categories

Health and Medical Administration

Abstract

More than ever before, consumers are utilizing Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies for the treatment of disease and promotion of health, yet some dietetics professionals report limited undergraduate education regarding safety and efficacy of common CAM therapies. A lack of knowledge of CAM may impact overall attitudes toward CAM therapies, practice recommendations, and, ultimately, optimal patient care. The purpose of this study was to investigate and analyze the current CAM attitudes, knowledge, desire for further education, personal use, perceived barriers to use, and sources of information in dietetic college students. The questionnaire "CAM Survey of Knowledge and Attitudes of Health Professions Students” was used to gather data, and results indicated that students across all class levels had highly favorable attitudes toward CAM, felt that CAM should be integrated into conventional medicine, and wanted to have CAM practices available in their future practices. The majority of students reported limited CAM education in their undergraduate curriculum and desired more education in CAM therapies, particularly nutritional supplements (97.8%) and herbal medicine (92.2%). Since future dietetic professionals are likely to work in settings in which they will be expected to be knowledgeable about certain CAM therapies, the findings from this study provide valuable information to both dietetics education programs and the dietetics profession.

Copyright

© Daniela A. Novotny

Campus Only

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