Section 57
Chapter 56,790

Use and safety perceptions regarding herbal supplements: a study of older persons in southeast Idaho

Snyder, F.J.; Dundas, M.L.; Kirkpatrick, C.; Neill, K.S.

Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly 28(1): 81-95


ISSN/ISBN: 0163-9366
PMID: 19234997
DOI: 10.1080/01639360802634043
Accession: 056789981

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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 < or = .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.

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