Dietary supplements: Physician knowledge and adverse event reporting

Matthew Cellini, Selasi Attipoe, Paul Seales, Robert Gray, Andrew Ward, Mark Stephens, Patricia A. Deuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Dietary supplement (DS) use among US military personnel is widespread. Many consume several different DS with multiple ingredients one or more times each week, representing a potential public health concern. The overall purpose of the study was to assess the knowledge and behaviors of health professionals and physicians regarding patterns of DS use and possible adverse events (AE) associated with DS use. We also determined how providers address the issue of DS with patients and evaluated provider knowledge regarding reporting systems. Methods: Two prospective, cross-sectional, web-based questionnaires were administered. First, health care providers who accessed the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database to gather evidenced-based information on DS and herbal products were queried. Second, physicians who had graduated from the Uniformed Services University were sent a web-based questionnaire regarding DS knowledge, AE knowledge and reporting, and communication with patients about DS. The frequencies of responses were evaluated. Results: Although 60% of the military physicians who responded to the questionnaires believed they had observed AE in association with a DS, only 18% actually reported them. Three of four physician respondents (approximately 73%) did not know how or where to report AE associated with DS. The majority of physicians (66%) routinely asked most of their patients about DS use, and 65% did not have a reliable source of information for herbal and DS products. Conclusions: Information gaps in DS information and AE reporting were identified. A centralized AE reporting system could serve to identify potentially harmful DS for further evaluation. Health professionals need to remain vigilant for AE associated with DS use and better informed on how to report these events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

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Dietary Supplements
Physicians
Military Personnel
Health
Health Personnel
Public Health

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Cellini, Matthew ; Attipoe, Selasi ; Seales, Paul ; Gray, Robert ; Ward, Andrew ; Stephens, Mark ; Deuster, Patricia A. / Dietary supplements : Physician knowledge and adverse event reporting. In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2013 ; Vol. 45, No. 1. pp. 23-28.
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Dietary supplements : Physician knowledge and adverse event reporting. / Cellini, Matthew; Attipoe, Selasi; Seales, Paul; Gray, Robert; Ward, Andrew; Stephens, Mark; Deuster, Patricia A.

In: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 45, No. 1, 01.01.2013, p. 23-28.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dietary supplements

T2 - Physician knowledge and adverse event reporting

AU - Cellini, Matthew

AU - Attipoe, Selasi

AU - Seales, Paul

AU - Gray, Robert

AU - Ward, Andrew

AU - Stephens, Mark

AU - Deuster, Patricia A.

PY - 2013/1/1

Y1 - 2013/1/1

N2 - Purpose: Dietary supplement (DS) use among US military personnel is widespread. Many consume several different DS with multiple ingredients one or more times each week, representing a potential public health concern. The overall purpose of the study was to assess the knowledge and behaviors of health professionals and physicians regarding patterns of DS use and possible adverse events (AE) associated with DS use. We also determined how providers address the issue of DS with patients and evaluated provider knowledge regarding reporting systems. Methods: Two prospective, cross-sectional, web-based questionnaires were administered. First, health care providers who accessed the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database to gather evidenced-based information on DS and herbal products were queried. Second, physicians who had graduated from the Uniformed Services University were sent a web-based questionnaire regarding DS knowledge, AE knowledge and reporting, and communication with patients about DS. The frequencies of responses were evaluated. Results: Although 60% of the military physicians who responded to the questionnaires believed they had observed AE in association with a DS, only 18% actually reported them. Three of four physician respondents (approximately 73%) did not know how or where to report AE associated with DS. The majority of physicians (66%) routinely asked most of their patients about DS use, and 65% did not have a reliable source of information for herbal and DS products. Conclusions: Information gaps in DS information and AE reporting were identified. A centralized AE reporting system could serve to identify potentially harmful DS for further evaluation. Health professionals need to remain vigilant for AE associated with DS use and better informed on how to report these events.

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