Title

National Survey of Dietary Supplement Resources at Drug Information Centers

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2004

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess the resources drug information centers are currently using to respond to dietary supplement information requests and to determine the frequency with which drug information centers are used as sources of information on dietary supplements. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: United States. PARTICIPANTS: 116 drug information centers. INTERVENTIONS: Mail survey that collected information on the use of drug information centers for dietary supplement information requests and the dietary supplement-specific resources available at and used in these centers. MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: Survey responses, evaluated using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Drug information centers received a relatively small number of requests for information related to dietary supplements, and most such requests came from consumers. The centers had a number of resources available to assist in responding to those requests, with Facts and Comparisons' The Review of Natural Products and the print version of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database being the resources most often at hand. The majority of respondents believed their centers were "usually able" to respond to the requests received. CONCLUSION: Drug information centers are often overlooked as sources of information about dietary supplements; however, centers have resources that are, by self-assessment, sufficient to respond to dietary supplement information requests. Great variation exists among centers in the resources available to address requests, with just two resources, the Review of Natural Products and the print version of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, available to more than three-fourths of the respondents.

Comments

At the time of this research, Dr. Shields was part of the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

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