RGU researchers conduct study into alternative medicines

RGU Doctoral Researcher Okeh Ndu and senior lecturer Dr Lesley Diack.
RGU Doctoral Researcher Okeh Ndu and senior lecturer Dr Lesley Diack.

Health researchers at Robert Gordon University (RGU) have launched a new study to assess the perceived effectiveness of complementary medicine in young people.

The research will focus on the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) amongst children and young people living in the north-east, including Peterhead.

The study, which is part of a doctoral research project by Mr Okeh Ndu, will determine the degree to which CAM is used and gather opinions from young adults and parents within the area on its effectiveness.

CAM refers to various practices and products people use along with or in place of orthodox medicine to maintain general health and well-being, or to prevent, treat or manage specific health conditions.

These include various supplements, special diets and herbal and homeopathic remedies, as well as special manipulations, regular exercises and other self-help practices used for health purposes.

Supervised by Dr Lesley Diack, Dr Lorna McHattie and Professor Alison Strath from RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Mr Ndu’s research will also help clarify the opinions of parents and young people on the impact of CAM use on health and general development.

Mr Ndu said: “CAM users generally believe that because the therapies are natural and have been in use for several generations, they must be both effective and safe.

“However, with the current emphasis in the NHS on patient-centred healthcare and patient-reported outcomes this study aims to find out whether there is any practical basis for such widely held views.”

Parents across the north-east will be surveyed through NetMums and Facebook for their views on CAM use in children, and young adult students at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen College and the University of Aberdeen will also be asked to take part in the study.

To participate in the research, please log on to Facebook and search for “complementary medicine” or “CAM”, or look for the survey invite on the NetMums NE Scotland notice board.