Corresponding Author

Osama Mohamed Ibrahim Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacotherapeutics Department, College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah, UAE. oibrahim@sharjah.ac.ae +971 501667203


Background: Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is a term used for practices and use of products other than conventional standard evidence-based medical care. Objective: To assess the CAM knowledge and utilization among University of Sharjah students, UAE. Method: A cross-sectional survey study was conducted. 250 surveys among UOS students were distributed. The data was obtained through a well-designed questionnaire of 3 main categories. The first part was designed to collect socio-demographic data, while the second part mainly measured CAM knowledge and the practicing pattern. The last section was developed to assess CAM beliefs and psychological behavior behind CAM utilization. Results: 214 participants agreed to participate (response rate 85.6%), and 81% reported their belief in CAM as medical therapy. The reason behind their belief in CAM was due to efficacy (37%) and safety (21%). Approximately 74% of participants claimed their CAM knowledge, and the most frequently used CAM therapy was cupping. Most participants (47%) gained their knowledge from regular courses offered by UOS. Around 33% of the participants consult their physicians before utilizing CAM therapy. However, 42% utilized CAM by unlicensed practitioners. Conclusion: Obtained results indicated the high level of CAM knowledge among UOS students in particular females while cupping being the most frequent used CAM therapy. The main reasons justifying the use of cupping was religion, and cultural-based. The lack of sufficient scientific data and the minimal link between the physician and the consumers were the main obstacles attributed to the limited use of CAM.