Physicians and nurses use and recommend dietary supplements: report of a survey
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Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:29 doi:10.1186/1475-2891-8-29Published: 1 July 2009
Numerous surveys show that dietary supplements are used by a large proportion of the general public, but there have been relatively few surveys on the prevalence of dietary supplement use among health professionals, including physicians and nurses. Even less information is available regarding the extent to which physicians and nurses recommend dietary supplements to their patients.
An online survey was administered in October 2007 to 900 physicians and 277 nurses by Ipsos Public Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a trade association representing the dietary supplement industry. The health professionals were asked whether they used dietary supplements and their reasons for doing so, and whether they recommend dietary supplements to their patients.
The "Life...supplemented" Healthcare Professionals Impact Study (HCP Impact Study) found that 72% of physicians and 89% of nurses in this sample used dietary supplements regularly, occasionally, or seasonally.
Physicians and nurses are as likely as members of the general public to use dietary supplements, as shown by comparing the results of this survey with data from national health and nutrition surveys. Also, most physicians and nurses recommend supplements to their patients, whether or not the clinicians use dietary supplements themselves.