Date of Award

Spring 3-16-2004

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Terry Lewis

Second Advisor

Dawn B. Ludwig


Background Herbal medicine and natural supplement use is becoming more popular among the general population. They are being used as adjuncts to conventional medicine, in place of conventional medicine, or as a last resort after failure of conventional medicine. There are benefits and downfalls to these alternative therapies. The problem is determining what beliefs patients have about herbs/supplements and how they form these beliefs. Methods A written survey was distributed to patients visiting a family practice clinic over a single week. Descriptive statistics were obtained to determine frequencies and totals of data and two types of inferential statistics were performed to look f.or relationships or correlations among the data. Results Participants in this study were more informed in several areas regarding herbs/supplements and were more open to sharing their beliefs and usage with medical providers then those of previous studies had been. Misperceptions about herb#supplements did exist among the participants and few correlations were found when comparing users versus non-users responses. Conclusions While participants were much more informed than originally expected by the investigator, there is room for improvement. More scientific studies, education, and monitoring of herbs/supplements are needed, especially as use of these products continues to increase.


SC 11.PAS.2004.Vinnedge.PL