OBJECTIVES: To assess the beliefs, attitudes and self-use of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (AYUSH) medicines among senior pharmacy students.
METHODOLOGY: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among pharmacy students in four pharmacy schools located in Andhra Pradesh in South India. This study was conducted from the August to September 2014. The study population included all pharmacy students enrolled in Doctor of Pharmacy, Bachelor of Pharmacy and Diploma in Pharmacy programs in studied pharmacy schools. The pretested AYUSH survey had 8 questions on AYUSH related beliefs and 8 question on AYUSH related attitudes. The survey also asked participants about AYUSH related knowledge, frequency of use of AYUSH and the reason for using AYUSH. The data analysis was performed using SPSS Version 20. Chi-square test and Mann-Whitney U-test were employed to study the association between the independent and dependent variables.
RESULTS: A total of 428 pharmacy students participated in the survey. 32.2% of the study population was females and 32.5% of the population resided in rural areas. Males were more likely to have positive beliefs about AYUSH when compared to females (odd ratio [OR] = 4.62, confidence interval [CI] = 2.37-8.99, P < 0.001). Similarly, students living in hostels were more positive in their beliefs about AYUSH compared with students living at home (OR = 2.14, CI = 1.12-4.07, P < 0.05). Students living in hostel also had a positive attitude about AYUSH use (OR = 1.74, CI = 1.03-2.93, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Pharmacy students held favorable attitude and beliefs about AYUSH use. This baseline survey provides important information about the pharmacy student's perception about AYUSH. Further research is needed to explore the reasons that shape the pharmacy student's beliefs and attitudes about AYUSH.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.