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This study aimed to evaluate perception and factors associated with the use of herbal medicines in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) among outpatients at the Internal Medicine Department and medical practitioners in Phatthalung Hospital. The study was conducted in 369 outpatients and 60 medical practitioners at the hospital. Data were collected using a questionnaire on the perception of using herbal medicines and then analyzed with descriptive statistics including simple regression analysis and multiple linear regressions to determine factors influencing the use of herbal medicines. The results indicated that, of all participating outpatients, 83.6% had ever used NLEM herbal medicines and 80.3% wanted to use herbal medicines, but only 67.4% actually received prescriptions for such herbal medicines. Both outpatients and medical practitioners showed a high level of knowledge (mean score 8.85 ± 1.69, 9.45 ± 1.03), attitudes (4.03 ± 0.63, 3.85 ± 0.58), acceptance (4.103 ± 0.60, 3.90 ± 0.56) and perception (4.15 ± 0.57, 3.99 ± 0.55) of using NLEM herbal medicines. The factors significantly associated with the perception of using herbal medicines were (1) acceptance in using, (2) acceptance in prescribing and (3) enabling and reinforcing factors (p < 0.01). The study showed high-level perception on using NLEM herbal medicines among outpatients at the Internal Medicine Department and medical practitioners in Phatthalung Hospital. Therefore, all are ready to support and promote the use of NLEM herbal medicines according to the national policy.
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