Doctors, Nurses Use, Recommend Supplements

July 14, 2009

2 Min Read
Doctors, Nurses Use, Recommend Supplements

WASHINGTON—Physicians and nurses are as likely as members of the general public to use dietary supplements, and most physicians and nurses recommend supplements to their patients, according to a new study published in Nutrition Journal (2009;8:29). 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). 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 72 percent of physicians and 89 percent of nurses in this sample used dietary supplements regularly, occasionally or seasonally. Regular use of dietary supplements was reported by 51 percent of physicians and 59 percent of nurses. The most common reason given for using dietary supplements was for overall health and wellness (40 percent of physicians and 48 percent of nurses), but more than two-thirds cited more than one reason for using the products. When asked whether they "ever recommend dietary supplements" to their patients, 79 percent of physicians and 82 percent of nurses said they did.

“Health professionals including physicians and nurses are just as interested in healthy lifestyles as members of the general public, and are just as likely to benefit from rational supplementation,” the authors—Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., consultant and past president of the CRN; Andrew Shao, Ph.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN; and Nicolas Boyon, senior vice president, Ipsos Public Affairs, who conducted the HCP Study—stated in the article. “It may appear surprising that physicians and nurses are as likely as the general population to be using dietary supplements, given the negative views sometimes expressed editorially in medical journals. Physicians and nurses, as well as lay consumers, are exposed to these divergent views and must make their own decisions regarding their personal approach to wellness. The majority opt to use dietary supplements.”

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