Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (Kap ) Relating to Dietary Supplements Among Health Sciences and Non-Health Sciences Students in One of The Universities of United Arab Emirates (UAE) JC05-JC09
Dr. Farah Kais Alhomoud,
Saudi Aramco, P.O.Box 10804, Aldahran, Zipe Code 31311, Saudi Arabia
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Introduction: The use of Dietary Supplements (DS) has increased substantially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in recent years, despite the fact that the efficacy and safety of these supplements are not proven yet. In addition, the practices of supplement users in the UAE remain undocumented.
Aim: To determine the usage of DS in health sciences and non-health sciences students; and to determine their knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) regarding these supplements.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted among university students. Based on the Raosoft online calculator, it was anticipated that the sample of 383 students would enable us to achieve the study objectives. Students were recruited from Ajman University of Science and Technology and identified by the academic staff through students’ records. All students who were registered at Ajman University of Science and Technology – including medical (i.e. dental, pharmacy and health sciences) and non-medical colleges (i.e. engineering, business administration, law, information technology, mass communications and humanities) – were invited to participate, after obtaining the approval of the Institutional Ethics Committee (IEC), (during the period of January-February 2015). This study used quantitative method approach. Therefore, data were analysed quantitatively using SPSS version 22.0.
Results: More than one-third of participants (39%) were found to consume DS. The most common reasons for consuming supplements were to maintain good health (58,21%) and ensure adequate nutrition (43,15%). Almost two-thirds of participants (65%) perceived that the best way to obtain nutrients is through food and DS together (49%), or DS alone (16%). Therefore, there was a relatively high amount of DS intake among participants in this study. With regard to medical and non-medical students’ use of DS, there were no significant differences in the use (p=0.139). However, other findings suggest that there are significant differences in the knowledge of health sciences and non-health sciences students pertaining to the health benefits and safety of these supplements (p<0.001), what they are (p=0.040) and the source of help that should be sought when using them (p<0.001).
Conclusion: There is a relatively high prevalence of DS consumption among students, which they reported as using to maintain good health and ensure adequate nutrition. However, findings suggest that there are significant differences in the knowledge of health sciences and non-health sciences students pertaining to the health benefits and safety of these supplements. Therefore, awareness of DS usage and information should be integrated into everyday practice.