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Patient experience and use of probiotics in community-based health care settings

Authors Chin-Lee B, Curry W, Fetterman J, Graybill M, Karpa K

Received 5 August 2014

Accepted for publication 11 September 2014

Published 31 October 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 1513—1520


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Blake Chin-Lee,1 William J Curry,1 John Fetterman,2 Marie A Graybill,1 Kelly Karpa2

1Department of Family and Community Medicine, 2Department of Pharmacology, Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine Hershey, PA, USA

Objective: To investigate patient experience with probiotics and factors that influence probiotic use among adult patients.
Method: Patients were invited to complete a questionnaire that assessed their experiences and opinions regarding probiotics. Questionnaires were distributed to patients seeking primary health care services at a family and community medicine practice site and a community pharmacy. Patients were invited to complete the questionnaire while awaiting the physician or waiting for prescriptions to be filled.
Results: Overall, 162 surveys were completed and returned (66% response rate) from patients aged 18 to 89 years of age (mean 49.5 years). Most patients (n=107; 65%) were familiar with the term “probiotic”, and 49 patients (29.9%) had personally used the supplements in the past. Of those who had used probiotics, the majority (57%) had used the supplements to maintain “good gastrointestinal health” and most (59%) felt that the supplements had been beneficial. However, most (59%) had not informed their health care provider about their use of the supplements.
Conclusion: Use of probiotic supplements is common among consumers, but may not be reported to health care providers.

Keywords: primary care, community pharmacy, probiotic

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