Use of non-vitamin, non-mineral (NVNM) supplements by hospitalized internal medicine patients and doctor-patient communication
Patient Education and Counselling, 08/09/2012
Samuels N et al. – While the majority of patients using NVNM supplements are sharing this information with their primary–care physicians, there is little disclosure of this practice to hospital staff. This may be due to a perceived negative attitude of medical professionals to complementary medicine, and a lack of awareness by hospital staff regarding such practices.Methods
- A convenience sample of patients completed an interviewer–administered questionnaire examining use of and perceptions regarding NVNM supplements, and disclosure to medical personnel.
- 280 patients were interviewed (54% female), 15.4% reporting NVNM supplement use.
- This practice was more prevalent among female patients (p=0.045), more educated (p<0.001) and patients with more impaired quality–of–life, measured by the SF–12 tool (p<0.020).
- The most common factor influencing NVNM supplement use was a physician's recommendation.
- Most (74%) patients using NVNM supplements reported having disclosed this practice to community–based physicians, with only 23.7% disclosing to hospital staff.
- Six patients reported using supplements at the exclusion of conventional medication, with potentially serious implications.