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Health Care Provider's Knowledge, Perceptions, and Use of Probiotics and Prebiotics

Oliver, Laura MS, RD; Rasmussen, Heather PhD, RD; Gregoire, Mary B. PhD, RD, FADA; Chen, Yimin MS, RD, CNSC

Topics in Clinical Nutrition:
doi: 10.1097/01.TIN.0000445898.98017.eb
Practice Projects

Health care providers (N = 256) completed an online questionnaire to assess their knowledge, perceptions, and use of probiotics and prebiotics. Participants were familiar with probiotics (88%) but not with prebiotics (22%). Probiotics (62%) and prebiotics (55%) were perceived as being “somewhat” to “quite a bit” beneficial to health (μ = 3.6 ± 1.0 and 3.6 ± 1.2, respectively). Health care providers were “quite a bit” to “very much” willing to recommend probiotics (77%) and prebiotics (83%) if substantiated with literature. Despite this belief, they did not recommend probiotics (45%) or prebiotics (26%) to patients or read current research (75% and 76%, respectively).

Author Information

HELP/PSI, Inc, New York (Ms Oliver); and Departments of Clinical Nutrition (Dr Rasmussen and Ms Chen) and Food and Nutrition Services (Dr Gregoire), Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.

Correspondence: Heather Rasmussen, PhD, RD, Department of Clinical Nutrition, Rush University Medical Center, 1700 W Van Buren St, Suite 425, Chicago, IL 60612 (

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

© 2014Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins