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Pharmacy Students' Knowledge and Attitudes about Homeopathy: A Descriptive Survey Conducted in Turkey.

BACKGROUND:  Homeopathy belongs to "Traditional and Complementary Medicine" (TCM) and is defined in the TCM regulation in Turkey as a holistic practice method that aims to improve health status with personalized medicines. The international and national literature includes a limited number of studies that examine individuals' knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward homeopathy. Although in Turkey the Regulation on Pharmacists and Pharmacies states that the sale of homeopathic medicines is allowed only in pharmacies, no study was found that evaluated awareness about homeopathy among pharmacy students.

OBJECTIVE:  The present study aims to assess pharmacy students' knowledge and attitudes toward homeopathy and to identify the factors that influence them.

METHODS:  This descriptive study was conducted between December 1, 2021 and February 1, 2022 among the students of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Karadeniz Technical University (KTU), through a face-to-face survey. In total, 418 questionnaires suitable for data quality were included in the study. The SPSS 23.0 statistical program was used to analyze the data and the statistical significance level was taken as p  < 0.05.

RESULTS:  It was determined that 73% of the participants had heard about TCM practices and 55% had heard of homeopathy. Students in the fifth grade ( p  = 0.0001) and those working in an income-generating job ( p  = 0.026) were found to be those most aware of homeopathy. The students of the Faculty of Pharmacy correctly knew the basic working principles of homeopathy ( p  = 0.002). The source from which students obtained the most information about homeopathy was undergraduate courses. 80.4% of the participants thought that homeopathy should be applied by pharmacists. 47.0% of the students wanted to learn more about homeopathy or to carry out studies in the field of homeopathy in their careers.

CONCLUSION:  The results of this research revealed a high awareness amongst KTU pharmacy students about the practice of homeopathy.

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