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Physician-Patient Communication Project

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Derjung Tarn, University of California, Los Angeles Identifier:
First received: January 2, 2012
Last updated: June 5, 2013
Last verified: June 2013

January 2, 2012
June 5, 2013
November 2011
May 2013   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
patients disclosing dietary supplement use [ Time Frame: Disclosure will be measured at a single time point - on the day the patient's office visit is audio recorded. A subset of patients will be selected for a semi-structured interview up to 1 week after the visit. ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
Number of patients who disclosed dietary supplement use during audio recorded office visit
Same as current
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT01530867 on Archive Site
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Physician-Patient Communication Project
Physician-Patient Communication Project

Over half of all Americans take dietary supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbal products) along with their prescription medications. With the economic downturn, dietary supplement sales have surged, perhaps as a result of people attempting to stave off or delay medical care. Supplements are generally thought to be harmless, but some can potentially interact with prescription medications, cause liver or kidney damage, and even adversely affect surgical outcomes. Those substituting dietary supplements for prescription medications also may suffer significant adverse consequences. The United States Food and Drug Administration and the Institute of Medicine recommend that patients considering dietary supplement use consult their providers. Unfortunately, patients fail to disclose dietary supplement use in up to two-thirds of outpatient office visits. To improve discussions, it is important to understand what prompts physicians and patients to communicate about dietary supplements.

The overall objectives of this application are to understand how, when and why physicians and patients communicate about dietary supplements, and to assess how patients respond to these discussions. An ethnically diverse group of patients and their physicians will be surveyed and their office visits will be audio recorded. Audio recordings of the visits will be used to assess the relationship of patient and physician attitudes and values, and the physician-patient relationship on dietary supplement discussions. A subset of these patients and physicians will be interviewed to explore how they made decisions to initiate or forgo discussions about supplements. They also will be asked questions concerning the necessity of and responsibility for initiating dietary supplement conversations. Patient responses and reactions to actual discussions also will be explored. Data from observed and reported interactions will be compared to provide a deeper understanding of factors related to disclosure. This project aims to provide a broad understanding of the content of physician-patient discussions about dietary supplements, and to describe how and why physician and patient attitudes and opinions affect these discussions. Identification of mutable factors can result in interventions to increase communication about dietary supplements, help maintain patient safety, and promote appropriate use of supplements concurrent with prescription medications.

Sixty one primary care and integrative or complementary and alternative medicine physicians will be recruited for the study. For each participating physician, ten patients will be recruited.

Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
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Non-Probability Sample

Primary care physicians Integrative medicine / complementary and alternative medicine physicians Patients aged 18 and older of physicians participating in the study

Dietary Supplements
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*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
May 2013
May 2013   (final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  • English or Spanish-speaking
  • Aged 18 and older

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Does not speak English or Spanish
18 Years and older
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
R01 AT005883-02, R01AT005883-02
Derjung Tarn, University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Los Angeles
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Principal Investigator: Derjung M Tarn, MD, PhD University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Los Angeles
June 2013

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP