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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2014, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (1): 7-12.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(14)60004-2

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Medicine prescription practices of homeopathic undergraduate students in West Bengal, India

Subhranil Sahaa, Munmun Koleya, Jogendra Singh Aryaa, Gurudev Choubeya, Shubhamoy Ghoshb, Subhasish Gangulyc, Aloke Ghoshd, Sangita Sahae, Malay Mundlef   

  1. Clinical Research Unit (Homeopathy), Siliguri 734006, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India; under Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, Government of India
    Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Mahesh Bhattacharyya Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Howrah 711104, West Bengal, India
    Department of Organon of Medicine and Homeopathic Philosophy, D N De Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata 700046, West Bengal, India
    Department of Organon of Medicine and Homeopathic Philosophy, Midnapore Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Midnapore (West) 721101, West Bengal, India
    Department of Organon of Medicine and Homeopathic Philosophy, Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata 700009, West Bengal, India
    Department of Community Medicine, Medical College of Kolkata, Kolkata 700079, West Bengal, India
  • Received:2013-10-04 Accepted:2013-11-25 Online:2014-01-10 Published:2014-01-15

Objective

To our knowledge, prescription of homeopathic medicines by homeopathic undergraduate students has not been studied before though it may possess serious implications. We aimed to determine the practice and attitudes of prescription by homeopathic undergraduate students. 

Methods

A cross-sectional study was carried out involving all the students from four government homeopathic schools of West Bengal, India. Ethical requirements were ensured and data were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Chi-square tests and logistic univariate regression analyses were performed to identify associations and differences. 

Results

A total of 328 forms were completed. Of these, 264 (80.5%) homeopathic undergraduate students admitted of prescribing medicines independently and most (40.5%) said that they did this 2-3 times a year. The most common reasons for this were ‘urgency of the problem’ (35.2%), ‘previous experience with same kind of illness’ (31.8%), and ‘the problem too trivial to go to a doctor’ (25.8%). About 63.4% of the students thought that it was alright to independently diagnose an illness while 51.2% thought that it was alright for them to prescribe medicines to others. Common conditions encountered were fever, indigestion, and injury. Students who prescribed medicines were more likely to belong to Calcutta Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital (odds ratio = 5.8; 95% confidence interval 2.247-14.972). Prescription by students gradually increased with academic years of homeopathic schools. Many students thought it was alright for students to diagnose and treat illnesses. 

Conclusion

Prescription of medicines by homeopathic undergraduate students is quite rampant and corrective measures are warranted.


Key words: Homeopathy, Education, Medical, Undergraduate, India, Prescriptions, Drug, Practice, Institutional, Drug use, Irrational

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