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J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Feb;9(1):51-63.

Pharmacists' patterns of use, knowledge, and attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine.

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Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, Republic of Singapore.



To determine the patterns of use, knowledge, and attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among pharmacists.


Anonymous self-administered survey.


61st International Congress of International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), Singapore Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Research Symposium, and retail and hospital pharmacies in Singapore.


Pharmacists attending the FIP Congress, TCM Symposium, and pharmacists working in retail and hospital pharmacies.


Frequency of use of different types of CAM by demographic attributes, knowledge scores, and attitudinal scores.


Of the 430 surveys received, 420 fit the criteria for inclusion. Of the pharmacists, 84.3% reported use of some form of CAM in their lifetime. CAM was used for chronic and acute conditions. There was no difference in use of CAM based on gender and income. The mean score on the knowledge test was 7.23 of 10. Of the pharmacists, 72.6% were moderately satisfied with CAM and 79.4% indicated they would recommend CAM to family and friends. They received information on CAM from books/magazines (64%), friends/family (35.7%), and the Internet (31.4%). Eighty-one percent (81%) of pharmacists felt they had inadequate skills and knowledge to counsel patients on herbal medicine and 90.5% felt the professional curricula should have more components on CAM.


The use of CAM among pharmacists is widespread and prevalent. The increased use of CAM necessitates the need for more education. Pharmacists acknowledge that CAM may have a place in health care and accept their role as information providers. There is also a need for reliable sources of information on CAM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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