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