Although recent surveys suggest that the use of vitamins, minerals, and herbal products is prevalent in the general population, primary care providers do not often ask patients about their use of these products. The physician’s misconceptions concerning actual supplement usage among their patient population and the limited scientific research concerning these products are contributors to this lack of inquiry. This survey was undertaken to provide evidence to providers about patterns of use among patients in their specific service area, and to plan focused inservice education about the products most often selected by patients. A questionnaire was developed by reviewing previously used survey instruments, collecting informal disappearance data from local health stores, and by interviewing patients in the clinic waiting room. Surveys were distributed to patients older than 18, who are attending a family practice clinic. Information concerning demographics, amount and types of products taken, where information concerning the products was gathered, why the products were being taken, level of physician involvement, and perceived level of health and health care was gathered and analyzed.
Faculty Mentor: Jayne Byrne, MS, RD