Perception of Undergraduate Medical Students on the Role of Integrative Medicine in Dengue Treatment

Ziyin Soon, Hui Yi Khor, May Kyi Zay Hta, Amreeta Dhanoa, Lakshmi Selvaratnam, Kyi Kyi Tha

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


While grappling with the Covid-19 outbreak, Malaysia continues to confront rising dengue cases. With no vaccines or antivirals available, integrative medicine (IM) increasingly offers popular alternatives to treat dengue infections. Thus, future healthcare professionals (HCPs) need to have adequate knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) of IM in their management of dengue cases to better advise the public and patients regarding IM use. Therefore, this study aimed to explore existing KAP towards IM for treatment of dengue among future HCPs.

An online cross-sectional survey was carried out with 216 medical students- 49% pre-clinical (Years 1 & 2) and 51% clinical (Years 4 & 5) students from a Malaysian medical school.

Only 30.1% of medical students reported learning about IM in their undergraduate course. The main sources of IM usage for dengue were family members (70.8%), friends (57.9%), internet websites, and social media (48.6%). Prevalent IM modalities known and used by medical students for dengue treatment were papaya leaves, followed by isotonic drinks. The majority of students (pre-clinical 65.1%, clinical 45.4%) supported the use of IM in combination with conventional allopathic medicine for dengue treatment. However, some expressed concern with safety issues as pre-clinical (32.1%) and clinical (54.5%) students perceived IM could be harmful to patients’ health. Lastly, most medical students (65.3%) concurred that greater integration of IM modalities for dengue into the undergraduate curriculum was required.

This questionnaire-based survey provided essential information regarding the KAP of future HCPs towards IM use in dengue. This is important as Malaysian HCPs need to manage growing numbers of dengue patients in their clinical practice and be knowledgeable and aware of IM use in dengue. Hence, medical schools must be prepared to incorporate evidence-based IM in dengue treatment in their medical curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberP06.16
Pages (from-to)29
Number of pages1
JournalGlobal Advances in Health and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021
EventIntegrative Medicine & Health Symposium 2021 -
Duration: 11 Apr 202113 Apr 2021

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