Use and safety perceptions regarding herbal supplements: A study of older persons in Southeast Idaho

Frank J. Snyder, Mary L. Dundas, Carol Kirkpatrick, Karen S. Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Herbal supplements (HS) are used by older persons and are often perceived as safe, although there is limited research that examines why this perception exists. A questionnaire was developed and pilot tested to investigate the use and perceived safety of HS among a convenience sample of 112 adults aged 60 to 92 in southeast Idaho. Fifty-five percent of the participants (n=62) reported using HS in the past. Ninety-five percent (n=59) of those using HS and 75% (n=37) of nonusers reported they believed most or some HS were safe. Perception of herbal supplement safety was greatly influenced by family and friends, and HS users had a greater perception of safety than nonusers (p.001). The top reasons for perceived safety given by HS users were that HS: (1) can be purchased without a prescription, (2) can be purchased in many locations, and (3) are natural.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-95
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Nutrition for the Elderly
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Dietary supplement
  • Herbal supplement
  • Perceived safety
  • Self-treatment

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