Impact of the Integrative Oncology Scholars Program on Oncology Providers' Key Knowledge of Dietary Supplements and Antioxidants for Providing Evidence-based Oncology Care

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Journal of cancer education


Dietary supplements are commonly used among cancer survivors. Oncology providers rarely receive training about dietary supplements. We evaluated whether e-learning modules could improve oncology providers' dietary supplement knowledge. Oncology providers participated in the National Cancer Institute funded Integrative Oncology Scholars (IOS) program. We used posttest readiness assurance tests (RAT) to measure knowledge acquisition from modules. One cohort completed a pre and posttest RAT to assess change in knowledge. Multivariate linear regression models adjusted for gender, race, profession, and years in practice were used to determine if these characteristics were associated with posttest RAT performance and change in pre to posttest RAT scores. Scholars (N = 101) included 86% (N = 87) females; age 44 ± 10 years; 72% (N = 73) Non-Hispanic White; years in practice mean range 11-15 ± 10. There were 37 physicians, 11 physician assistants, 23 nurses, 21 social workers, 2 psychologists, 4 pharmacists, and 2 physical therapists. The posttest dietary supplement and antioxidant RAT scores for all Scholars were 67 ± 18% and 71 ± 14%. In adjusted models there were no significant associations between dietary supplement and antioxidant posttest RAT scores with Scholar characteristics. Change in RAT scores for dietary supplement and antioxidants were 25% ± 23 and 26% ± 27 (P < 0.0001). In adjusted models, there were no significant predictors of change in dietary supplement RATs. For antioxidant RATs, profession was associated with change in scores (P = 0.021). Improvement in Scholar's test scores demonstrate the IOS program can significantly increase oncology providers' knowledge of dietary supplements and antioxidants.

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ePub ahead of print