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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Mar 9;17(1):148. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1653-z.

How do medical students engaging in elective courses on acupuncture and homeopathy differ from unselected students? A survey.

Author information

1
Institute of General Practice, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Orleansstrasse 47, 81667, Munich, Germany.
2
Department of Medical Psychology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany.
3
TUM Medical Education Center, TUM School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
4
Institute of General Practice, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Orleansstrasse 47, 81667, Munich, Germany. klaus.linde@tum.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We aimed to investigate whether students at German medical schools participating in elective courses on acupuncture and homeopathy differ from an unselected group of students regarding attitudes and personality traits.

METHODS:

Elective courses on acupuncture and homeopathy in the academic half-year 2013/14 all over Germany were identified and participants invited to fill in a questionnaire including nineteen questions on attitudes towards Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), orientation towards science, care and status orientation, and a short validated instrument (Big-Five-Inventory-10) to measure personality traits (extraversion, neuroticism, openness, conscientiousness, and agreeableness). Participants of a mandatory family medicine course at one university served as unselected control group.

RESULTS:

Two hundred twenty and 113 students from elective courses on acupuncture and homeopathy, respectively, and 315 control students participated (response rate 93%). Students participating in elective courses had much more positive attitudes towards CAM, somewhat lower science and status orientation, and somewhat higher care orientation than control group students (all p-values for three-group comparisons < 0.001). There were no differences between the three groups regarding personality traits with the exception of lower values for agreeableness in controls (p = 0.009).

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings of this study show that attitudes of students participating in elective courses on acupuncture or homeopathy at German medical schools differ to a considerable degree from the attitudes of unselected students.

KEYWORDS:

Attitudes; Complementary and alternative medicine; Medical education; Personality traits

PMID:
28274213
PMCID:
PMC5343393
DOI:
10.1186/s12906-017-1653-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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