Chilliwack doctor and UBC looking into patient use of natural health products

Online survey seeks general information from public on natural health product usage

A Chilliwack doctor is co-ordinating a UBC study into the use of the natural health products, and the public’s participation is needed.

The survey is available online, and asks broad questions about prescriptions, the use of natural health products including vitamins and supplements, natural health services, and general questions about the participant. There are also opportunities to provide written answers to some of the questions.

The survey is called Patients’ Use of Natural Health Products, has 18 questions, and takes about 10 minutes to complete. Anyone who can read English and does not have a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer disease is invited to take the test.

Dr. Arden Barry is listed as the co-ordinator of the survey. Barry is a Clinical Pharmacy and Research Specialist at the Primary Care Clinic at Chilliwack General Hospital. He is also an assistant professor at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC.

The purpose of this study is to investigate participants’ use of and beliefs about natural health products. It will help inform other healthcare professionals (pharmacists, doctors, nurses) about the types of natural health products that people take, and why they take them. For the purpose of the survey, natural health products are vitamins, minerals, herbal remedies, homeopathic remedies, traditional Chinese medicines, or other supplements.

The study has been reviewed to ensure it follows ethical guidelines, by the Research Ethics Boards at Fraser Health and UBC.