Pharmacy Students' Self-reported Health Behaviours and Spiritual Practices and Attitudes toward Complementary and Alternative Medicine


  • Jitka Pokladnikova Department of Social and Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Charles University in Prague, HRADEC KRALOVE, The Czech Republic
  • Lie Désirée Department of Family Medicine, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, IRVINE, The United States of America


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), CAM attitudes, CAM use, health behaviours, spirituality


Objective: We explored if and how self-reported spiritual practices and health behaviours of pharmacy students correlated with
attitudes toward CAM, CAM use, recommending CAM and seeking CAM evidence.
Method: A secondary analysis of a cross-sectional survey of 437 pharmacy students at the Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic was conducted using the validated CAM Health Beliefs Questionnaire (CHBQ).
Results: Overall cohort CHBQ mean score was 48.5 (maximum score=70) confirming positive beliefs/attitudes toward CAM irrespective of self-reported health behaviour and spiritual practices. Students with self-reported spiritual practices used twice as many CAM modalities (3.8 vs 2.1; p<0.001); were more likely to recommend CAM therapy to patients (4.6 vs 3.2; p<0.001) and provide them with CAM-related information (6.2 vs 5.3; p=0.021). Positive health behaviour correlated with more self-reported CAM use (p=0.040). No correlation was found between smoking status, regular exercise and CAM use.
Conclusion: Pharmacy trainee’s lifestyle and health behaviours may influence some of their patient care decisions about recommending CAM therapies.


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Research Article