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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

The practice of traditional and complementary medicine and factors associated with it among the medical staff in Malaysia

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  • 1,
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  • 3 and
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BMC Public Health201414 (Suppl 1) :O22

  • Published:


  • Public Health
  • General Population
  • Environmental Health
  • Healthcare Profession
  • Medical Staff


Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) is garnering increasing interest and acceptance among the general population. Different types of T&CM treatments were increasingly applied and practised by the public but ignorance about T&CM poses a communication gap between public health and the healthcare profession. The aim of this study was to determine the practice of T&CM and factors associated with it among medical staff in five selected hospitals in Malaysia.

Materials and methods

This study employed a cross-sectional design, which was carried out using quantitative and qualitative methods.


A total of 46.3% of the medical staff had ever used T&CM in their life and 32.5% of them used T&CM in the last one year, while 48.6% of the medical staff had ever referred T&CM to their patients or families in their life, and 25.2% of them referred T&CM in the last one year. Knowledge regarding T&CM was poor but positive perception regarding education in T&CM was high. Knowledge regarding T&CM was significantly higher in Hospital Duchess of Kent (52%, p = 0.001), among non-Malays (44%, p = 0.047), and pharmacists (47.2%, p = 0.03). Positive perception regarding education in T&CM among medical staff was higher among females (88.1%, p = 0.002) and pharmacists (93.7%, p < 0.001). There was no significant association between practice of T&CM and perception of education in T&CM.


Many medical staff had not been exposed to T&CM education, however most of them had positive perception about health education/training in T&CM. The provision of information on T&CM practice and its associated factors among medical staff may help to integrate T&CM into the mainstream medicine.

Authors’ Affiliations

UNU-IIGH, UNU-IIGH Building, UKM Medical Center, Jalan Yaacob Latiff, 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Xinjiang Uyghur Medical College, Xinjiang, China
UKM Medical Center, Jalan Yaacob Latiff, 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), 56000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


© Abuduli et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.