Consumers' Need for Information on Supplements
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In Canada, many individuals are unable or do not meet the recommended nutrient intake from food alone, supplements may be one intervention strategy to help compensate for some of these inadequacies. The 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey found that 28 to 60 percent of individuals use supplements. Supplement use is positively associated with income and education level, with higher income individuals consuming a higher amount of supplements and supplement use increasing with education level. Previous research has identified several barriers to supplement usage, one of them being knowledge. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to develop a resource to help inform and educate consumers to select a supplement. A total of 31 participants were included in data collection. Three focus groups with participants residing in low income neighbourhoods in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as well as, seven key informant interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview guide. Audio tapes were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis to identify emergent themes. Data analysis yielded over 400 codes from the focus groups and key informant interviews. These codes were then grouped into themes and then further divided into three major topics: Barriers to Use, Resource, and Other. These data were subsequently used to create a new tool to help consumers choose an appropriate multivitamin. The aim of this resource is not to convince individuals that they need a supplement, but rather to provide information to help them choose an appropriate supplement once they have already decided to take one. This study will help to enhance the quality of information available regarding supplement selection through the use of an innovative online tool which is user friendly and meets the consumers’ needs. A newly created resource based on the expressed needs, ideas, and beliefs of community members and health care professionals will serve to help to fill a void in currently available information. This provides individuals with a resource to educate themselves to select an appropriate multivitamin.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentPharmacy and Nutrition
SupervisorWhiting, Susan J.
CommitteePerepelin, Jason; Hynes, Heather; Taylor, Jeff; Engler-Stringer, Rachel; Holtslander, Lorraine
Copyright DateSeptember 2011