Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10321/2972
Title: Knowledge, attitude and practices of South African healthcare professionals towards complementary and alternative medicine use for atopic eczema – a descriptive survey
Authors: Thandar, Yasmeen 
Botha, Julia 
Sartorius, Benn 
Mosam, Anisa 
Keywords: Atopic dermatitis;Atopic eczema;Attitudes;Complementary and alternative medicine;Complementary medicine;Healthcare professionals
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Medpharm Publications
Source: Thandar, Y. et al. 2017. Knowledge, attitude and practices of South African healthcare professionals towards complementary and alternative medicine use for atopic eczema – a descriptive survey. South African Family Practice. 59(1): 22–28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20786190.2016.1248146
Journal: South African family practice (2004. Online) 
Abstract: 
Background: Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are used widely for treating atopic eczema (AE), commonly
in conjunction with conventional medicines prescribed by mainstream healthcare professionals (HCPs). This cross-sectional
survey evaluated the knowledge, general attitudes and practices regarding CAM among dermatologists, paediatricians, general
practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists treating patients with AE in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Methods: Questionnaires were sent via email or hand-delivered to HCPs nearby.
Results: Of the 330 respondents, 220 (67%) were males and 110 (33%) females. Most (40%) were > 50 years. GPs and pharmacists
were significantly more embracing of CAM compared with dermatologists and paediatricians. The majority were not familiar
with most CAMs for AE. More GPs (29%) and pharmacists (43%) recommend CAM compared with dermatologists (8%) and
paediatricians (5%). GPs and pharmacists were also amenable to referring patients to CAM practitioners. The majority do not
initiate discussions with their patients regarding CAM use nor enquire when taking a history. Many dermatologists (65%) and
pharmacists (51%) reported that their patients ask about CAM. All dermatologists, 95% of paediatricians, 87% of GPs and 55%
of pharmacists reported having no training in CAM but believed it should be included in their curriculum. Most are interested in
learning about CAM and agreed that it would better prepare them in managing patients.
Conclusion: This study demonstrated poor CAM knowledge and communication between HCPs and patients but a strong interest
amongst HCPs to learn more. There is an urgent need for continuing education programmes and inclusion in undergraduate
curriculums, which will assist HCPs in influencing better patient outcomes.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10321/2972
ISSN: 2078-6190 (print)
2078-6204 (online)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/20786190.2016.1248146
Appears in Collections:Research Publications (Health Sciences)

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