Knowledge Assessment of Military Personnel and Family Taking Herbal Medications


Name: Seth  Randall

Rank: CPT

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: United States Army Graduate Program of Anesthesia Nursing, San Antonio, Texas; William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, Texas; Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas; Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii; Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington; San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas; Memphis VA Hospital, Memphis, Tennesee

Year Published: 2017

Abstract Status:


SPECIFIC AIMSThe aims of this study are to determine use and knowledge of herbal supplements in the DoD beneficiary and Veteran populations. Specifically, the aims are to describe:Aim 1: The prevalence of herbal supplement use in military beneficiaries (surgical patients)Aim 2: Types of herbal supplements used by patients preoperativelyAim 3: Knowledge of the adverse effects of using herbal supplement use in the perioperative settingUp to 60% of patients in the U.S. use complementary and alternative medications (CAM), which is a $34 billion industry in the United States. CAMs, which includes herbal supplements, are frequently used by military service personnel and their families. Results and conclusions of a meta-analysis indicate that the use of CAMs and dietary supplements by military personnel surpasses that of civilian populations and that selected subgroups within the military may have even higher use than the general military population.Dietary supplements, including herbal supplements, are often used by patients who undergo surgical procedures, and they appear to use herbal supplements significantly more frequently than the general population. Up to 20% of patients who underwent evaluation in a preoperative clinic were reported to consume herbals. With the escalating use of non-standardized over-the-counter supplements, many patients present to the anesthesia provider self-administering herbal supplements. This steep rise in herbal medication use may be associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality in the perioperative period as a consequence of herbal supplement interactions with both anesthetics and prescribed medications in addition to herbal components that induce alterations in physiology.Descriptive empirical data are nonexistent related to herbal supplement consumption and patient knowledge of herbal supplement potential advantages and adverse effects in Military Health Systems and Veterans Affairs patients undergoing anesthesia and surgery. This qualitative descriptive cross-sectional study will voluntarily and anonymously solicit data pertaining to consumption of herbal supplements, frequency of use, and knowledge of adverse effects in patients undergoing anesthesia preoperative evaluation via an electronic SurveyMonkey® survey. This research project will evaluate the use of herbal supplements, reasons for their use, and the understanding of potential herbal supplement side effects and drug interactions among military personnel, family members, and Veterans. This protocol will help fill the gap of knowledge of herbal supplement use in our population.This is a multicenter project, as investigators at six different medical centers throughout the U.S. will solicit information from patients during their routine preanesthetic evaluations. Users and non-users of herbal supplements will be included in the sample. Once these descriptive data are known, a detailed, vital patient and healthcare provider education plan will be created to fill the lack of understanding. A critical educational plan will be developed to instruct patients and health care providers regarding safe herbal medication use and potential prevention of perioperative complications.The findings from this project will contribute to the body of military nursing science through obtaining and evaluating critical information related to herbal supplement use in our DoD beneficiaries and Veterans. These data will then be used to create important and fundamental educational tools to enhance patient safety and prevent possible adverse events related to herbal supplement consumption. This proposal has the potential of providing salient data for enriched education of preoperative patients who take herbal supplements, identification of knowledge deficits regarding the potential disadvantages, and safety concerns of herbal supplement use. This research project addresses the primary mission end state, which is providing for a Fit and Ready Force, deploying and caring for the warrior, and caring for all patients entrusted us.