Knowledge and information seeking behaviour among medical trainees on complementary and alternative medicine use
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Background: The substantial increase in the consumption of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has spawned renewed interest in assessing determinants underlying this phenomenon. The present study aimed at describing the demographic profile, knowledge and information seeking behavior of medical trainees towards CAM. Methodology: A cross sectional study was performed among medical trainees of University of Nairobi between March 2012 and May 2012. The respondents were asked to volunteer information on bio data, knowledge of various CAM modalities and sources of information using a questionnaire based tool of data collection. Descriptive data was compounded using SPSS version 17. Results: A total of 124 trainees participated in the study, representing a response rate of 83%. There were more female respondents (52%) compared with males (48%). Despite more than 75% of the respondents having heard of Pub Med and Cochrane databases, less than 47% of the respondents use them. Generally, more than 50% of the respondents were more versed with herbal, African tradition, diet, support and spirituality modalities of treatment. Conclusion: A majority of trainees have limited scope on various modalities of CAM, with scant usage of online scientific resources for increasing knowledge. The medical curriculum developers should consider these factors when instituting changes in medical education.