Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Internet successful in educating doctors on herbal and dietary supplements


A pediatrician at Brenner Children’s Hospital has developed an efficient way to help educate health care professionals on herbal and dietary supplements via the Internet, according to a study published in the September issue of Academic Medicine.

Kathi Kemper, M.D., a pediatrician at Brenner Children’s Hospital, worked with physicians from the Longwood Herbal Task Force to develop a series of e-mails containing information and questions about various herbal and dietary supplements.

Over 537 healthcare professionals participated in the e-mail series, which took place over 10 weeks. Participants were asked questions twice a week about herbal supplements and were given a link to an Internet site for more information about each topic. The questions focused on the more popular herbal remedies like Saw Palmetto and Gingko Biloba, found in most area supermarkets and drugstores.

Participants were also given a pre and post-test to see if they increased their knowledge base and if they were more confident in their ability to answer their patients’ questions and find the resources they needed. Scores on the post-test showed an improvement in the knowledge scores from 67 percent at baseline to 80 percent following the curriculum.

"We were pleased that so many healthcare professionals chose to participate in the program, in the absence of formal course credit, certification or continuing education credits," Kemper said. "Our study showed that many of the professionals really did change their approach to these remedies and increased their education level without a significant time investment."

Over 50 percent of adults use herbs and other dietary supplements, in conjunction with prescriptions and over the counter medications, to treat chronic health conditions. They are the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine in the United States. Yet, many physicians lack basic knowledge of these remedies and need education on the risks and benefits of herbal and dietary supplements.

"Increasingly, patients are entering physicians’ offices, asking questions about herbal remedies and dietary supplements and how they might improve their lives," said Kemper. "Often the physician lacks resources and does not have up-to-date information about these remedies.

"We were looking for ways to educate and increase a physician’s confidence in this growing area of medicine without taking a considerable amount of their time," Kemper said.

Of the 537 participants, 84 percent were in practice or on faculty, and the other 16 percent were students, residents, postdoctoral trainees, pharmacy students and registered dietitians. Over 45 states were represented in the study. Several health care practitioners from other countries requested to participate in the study, but were not allowed due to differences in cultures and how the remedies are used overseas.

"We are planning a follow-up to this study since the interest was high," Kemper said. "We are toying with the format to find the best approach and looking at ways to include more health care providers."

Rae Beasley | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>