Nurs Health Sci 2001 (Mar); 3 (1): 19–27
Wilkinson JM, Simpson MD
School of Biomedical Sciences,
Charles Sturt University,
Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia
Attitudes towards the use of complementary therapies by students of undergraduate Bachelor of Nursing, Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences were determined using a self-administered questionnaire. Overall, 78% of students had used a complementary therapy in the past year and 56% had visited a complementary therapy practitioner. The therapies most used were those involving vitamins, mineral and other supplements. Practitioners specializing in this area were the most visited, followed by chiropractors. Commonly used products included vitamin C, multivitamins, B group vitamins, garlic, iron and echinacea. Most students thought complementary therapies improved quality of life, with friends and family providing the main sources of information. There were few differences attributable to course or gender. The results suggest that these students have favorable attitudes towards complementary therapies and that many choose to use them as part of normal health care.