COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE USE IN CROATIAN HEALTH STUDIES STUDENTS
Introduction : The use of CAM in healthy population and in patients with certain health conditions was investigated in Croatia, however not on health students and professionals. The aim of the study was to measure the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in health study students. Methods: An online survey was used on students enrolled at the Faculty of Health Studies University of Rijeka, Croatia. The questionnaire covered issues related to sociodemographic data and examined the frequency of using 31 CAM methods, the source of the CAM information and the main reason for using CAM. Results: Seven hundred and twenty-three students were invited to take part in the survey and 207 (29%) responded, most of whom were female (N = 172; 83,1%). The median age of the respondents was 22 years. More than half of the respondents (N=113; 54,6%) were employed. The most commonly used CAM methods were natural products - vitamins and minerals (93,2%), probiotics (80,7%) and herbs (78,3%). Most commonly used mind and body practices were massages (76,3%), deep breathing (61,4%), and spirituality and prayer (56%). The main source of information on CAM was Internet (N=151; 72,9%). Maintenance / improvement of health was the most common reason for using CAM (49,3%). Conclusion: The most commonly used methods of CAM among students in this study were similar to other studies and information about CAM is mostly derived from the Internet.