Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Boeve, Wallace


Alternative medicine, in the form of dietary supplements, is appealing to Americans. Supplements have been marketed as being natural promoters of general well-being, healing, and disease prevention. Even with minimal regulation and research, the majority of supplement use is self-prescribed, fueling an industry last estimated at $32.5 billion in 2012. The study explored the degree of consumer knowledge with regards to regulation, appropriate indications and dosages, and potential adverse effects of various dietary supplements. The study also sought to evaluate the relationship between supplement knowledge and demographic information as well as the extent of discussion about supplement use with a provider, if any. The instrument utilized was a novel survey developed by the researchers of this study. Surveys were distributed at CHI Saint Alexius Health and Dakota Community Bank in Bismarck, North Dakota. Data analysis revealed a <50% knowledge level among all populations surveyed. The extent of provider discussion was also minimal. No significant relationship was found between supplement users’ demographic data and their level of knowledge. Among all groups surveyed, no significant correlation appeared to exist between their level of knowledge and their extent of discussion with a provider.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons