• Use of Dietary Supplements Among Pharmacy Students

      Slack, Marion; Edel, Courtney; Vanova, Janka; Slack, Marion; College of Pharmacy, The University of Arizona (The University of Arizona., 2015)
      Objectives: To compare the use of herbal and dietary supplements amongst pharmacy students to the use in the general population; assess knowledge and attitudes toward the use, and perceived effectiveness of herbal and dietary supplements. Methods: Paper questionnaires that were administered to the first-, second- and third-year students collected data about the herbal and dietary supplement use, knowledge, students’ attitudes towards the use of herbal and dietary supplements, as well as information about demographics and students’ work experience. Overall use was compared to the 2007 National Health Interview survey findings. Results: From a total of 179 students who responded, 52% indicated that they had ever used at least one product, which was greater than the 25%-use reported in the general population. Almost half (46%) of students indicated they had used fish oil/omega-3; about 38% used one or more of the other listed products. Students had limited knowledge on the use of herbal and dietary supplements. The average score on the side effects and indicated uses of selected dietary supplements was 50%; however, the third-year students scored significantly higher than the first-year students (p < 0.001). Students rated dietary supplements as not essential for health, but thought that the education on dietary supplements was inadequate. Conclusions: About half (52%) of this sample of pharmacy students reported having ever used dietary supplements compared to only 25% of the general population. However, students seemed to have limited knowledge of dietary supplements and thought more education was needed.