Attitudes and Perceptions among Dublin International Foundation College Students towards Taking Conventional Medications and Herbal Medicines


  • Abdullah T. Eissa Pharmacist and Medical Students, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences.



Herbal Medicine, Complementary Therapies, Pharmaceutical Preparations, Health


Background: The use of both conventional medications and herbal medicines has increased recently. Consequently, the chance of misusing medications has also increased, leading to unwanted complications and economic burdens. This study examined the attitudes and perceptions of international students at Dublin International Foundation College (DIFC) towards conventional medication and herbal medicine.

Methods: A cross-sectional quantitative method was used to collect information from international students at DIFC. A total of 85 questionnaires were distributed to the students, and 54 completed questionnaires were received from them. Chi-square test was used to examine the possible relationships between students’ background, gender and region of origin and their attitudes and perceptions toward using conventional medications and herbal medicines.

Results: Participants from different regions of origin showed significant differences in the responses to questions about informing their healthcare providers about their drug allergies. While most students did not usually mix herbal medicines with either conventional medications or other types of herbs, students aged between 21 and 25 were more likely to combine different types of medications compared to students from other age groups. No significant differences were observed in relation to students' educational backgrounds and gender.

Conclusion: This study demonstrated the need of educating students from different regions and backgrounds about the use of conventional medications and herbal medicines. Information regarding the proper use of medications and the dangers of drug interactions should be included in the curricula of formal education and disseminated to the public using culturally sensitive strategies.


Metrics Loading ...


1. Gu Q, Dillon CF, Burt VL. Prescription drug use continues to increase: U.S. prescription drug data for 2007–2008. NCHS data brief, no 42. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics; 2010.
2. Barnes PM, Bloom B, Nahin RL. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States, 2007. Natl Health Stat Report. 2008 Dec 10;(12):1-23.
3. Vickers KA, Jolly KB, Greenfield SM. Herbal medicine: women's views, knowledge and interaction with doctors: a qualitative study. BMC Comple¬ment Altern Med. 2006 Dec 7;6:40.
4. Onyiapat JI, Okoronkwo IL, Ogbonnaya NP. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults in Enugu, Nigeria. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Mar 4;11:19.
5. World Health Organization. The pursuit of responsible use of medicines: sharing and learning from country experiences. Geneva: World Health Orga¬nization; 2012.
6. Yekta Z, Zamani A, Mehdizade M, Farajzadegan Z. Pattern of complemen¬tary and alternative medicine use in urban population. J Res Health Sci. 2007 Jul 28;7(1):24-31.
7. Bamidele JO, Adebimpe WO, Oladele EA. Knowledge, attitude and use of al¬ternative medical therapy amongst urban residents of Osun State, southwes¬tern Nigeria. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2009 May 7;6(3):281-8.
8. James PB, Bah AJ. Awareness, use, attitude and perceived need for Com¬plementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) education among undergraduate pharmacy students in Sierra Leone: a descriptive cross-sectional survey. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Nov 8;14:438.
9. Stankiewicz M, Smith C, Alvino H, Norman R. The use of complementary medicine and therapies by patients attending a reproductive medicine unit in South Australia: a prospective survey. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007 Apr;47(2):145-9.
10. Al-Omar HA, Al-Arifi MN. Pharmacy students' use, knowledge and attitu¬des toward complementary and alternative medicine at Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia. Int J Green Pharm 2011;5(1):16-23.
11. Kashani L, Hassanzadeh E, Mirzabeighi A, Akhondzadeh S. Knowledge, attitude and practice of herbal remedies in a group of infertile couples. Acta Med Iran. 2013 Apr 6;51(3):189-94.
12. Shah AP, Parmar S, Ramkishan A, Mehta AA. Knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) survey regarding the safe use of medicine in rural area of Gujarat. Adv Trop Med Pub Health Int. 2011;1(2):66-70.



How to Cite

T. Eissa, A. (2015). Attitudes and Perceptions among Dublin International Foundation College Students towards Taking Conventional Medications and Herbal Medicines. International Journal of Medical Students, 3(3), 123–126.



Original Article