Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr Abderrahim Oulhaj
Dr Luai Awad Ahmed
Health supplement products contain ingredients of more than a thousand chemicals. Several of these chemicals may adversely affect human health. Previous studies have found that consumers are generally unaware of the risks of health supplements and their associated adverse events. In addition, they are unaware of the appropriate reporting process to relevant authorities should adverse events occur. Moreover, many healthcare professionals have inadequate knowledge, attitude, and practice in health supplement consumption-related adverse events and their reporting. The purpose of this research was to measure the health supplement consumption in the population of Dubai, the adverse events thereof, and the level of knowledge, attitude, and practice among healthcare professionals about the issue.
This research project comprised two cross-sectional studies. The first was a telephone survey using computer-assisted personal interviewing carried out among the general population. The second study was an on-line survey among healthcare professionals from various private and government healthcare settings in Dubai that sought to assess their knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) toward health supplements. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the demographic characteristics of the sample using frequencies and percentages as appropriate. Chi-square, or ANOVA, was used as appropriate to test for statistical differences. Analyses were conducted using STATA version 14.2.
In the first survey, among 1,203 participants, 455 (37.8%) reported either current or previous use of health supplements. Of the 455 users, 389 (85.54%) were knowledgeable about health supplements and 442 (97.14%) had encountered no adverse events. Of the 13 (2.86%) who had encountered adverse events, the degree of severity was either moderate or mild. Most (10, 76.92%) did not know how to report the adverse event to healthcare professionals. Only 3 (23.08%) had ever reported an event.
In the second study, 427 healthcare professionals participated in the online survey. Of these, 78 (18.3%) had a good level of KAP towards health supplements, 166 (38.9%) had a fair level of KAP, while 183 (42.9%) had a poor level. Job experience of over 6 years resulted in a significant difference (P=0.017) in mean KAP scores. No statistically significant differences in scores were found with gender or educational levels. Significant differences, however, (P=0.001) were found with nationality where non-UAE national participants had a higher level of KAP than UAE nationals. There were also significant differences in mean KAP scores between occupational groups, physicians, and pharmacists having higher scores than other healthcare providers.
The findings of this research provide important new knowledge about health supplement use in Dubai. The findings may be used to develop policies and programs on health supplements that will help to minimize the risk of adverse events arising from their use. The results also point out that it is important to institute educational initiatives to assess any risks related to the use of health supplements. Such initiatives will help to raise both awareness and knowledge in both the population and healthcare professionals regarding the use and adverse events of health supplements.
Rafee Abdulla, Naseem Mohammed, "Health Supplement Use and Related Adverse Events in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: A Cross-Study" (2018). Philosophy Dissertations. 10.