Next Article in Journal
Roaming the Neighbourhood: Influences of Independent Mobility Parenting Practices and Parental Perceived Environment on Children’s Territorial Range
Previous Article in Journal
Social Inequalities in Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution: A Systematic Review in the WHO European Region
Open AccessArticle

Health Professionals’ Knowledge of Probiotics: An International Survey

Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Maribor, Žitna ulica 15, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
Institut Allergosan, Pharmazeutische Produkte Forschungs- und Vertriebs GmbH, Gmeinstrasse 13, 8055 Graz, Austria
Department of Food Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Széchenyi István University, Lucsony u. 15-17., 9200 Mosonmagyaróvár, Hungary
Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Maribor, Pivola 10, 2311 Hoče, Slovenia
Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija
School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith, NSW 2751, Australia
Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor, Taborska ulica 8, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Maribor, Koroška cesta 46, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3128;
Received: 18 July 2019 / Revised: 24 August 2019 / Accepted: 26 August 2019 / Published: 28 August 2019
The objective of this study was to survey health professionals to investigate their knowledge of probiotics. An online survey was conducted to gather data on the knowledge of health professionals. The online survey was distributed via email and social media platforms using snowball sampling. A total of 1066 health professionals (859; 80.6% female) from 30 countries responded to the survey. Most of the respondents evaluated their knowledge of probiotics as medium (36.4%) or good (36.2%). Only 8.9% of the respondents rated it as excellent. No statistical difference in knowledge was found between male and female health professionals. Over 80% of pharmacists, allied health professionals, medical doctors and dentists, and other health professionals knew the correct definition of probiotics as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”, whereas three quarters of registered nurses and midwives and less than two thirds of psychologists identified the correct definition. Statistically, more female than male health professionals knew the correct definition of probiotics. The most frequently recognized species of bacteria containing probiotic strains were Lactobacillus acidophilus (92%), Bifidobacterium bifidum (82%), and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (62%). The opinions on when it is best to take probiotics were different (χ2 = 28.375; p < 0.001), with 90.2% of respondents identifying that probiotics have beneficial effects if taken during antibiotic therapy, 83.5% for diarrhea, 70.6% for constipation, 63.3% before traveling abroad, and 60.4% for treating allergies. Almost 79% of health professionals involved in this study have advised their patients to use probiotics and 57.5% of the respondents wanted to learn more about probiotics. All things considered, health professionals have a medium level of knowledge of probiotics, which could be improved by the implementation of targeted learning programs. As probiotics have many beneficial effects in a wide range of health areas, health professionals need to adopt the use of probiotics in clinical practice. View Full-Text
Keywords: probiotics; knowledge; health professionals probiotics; knowledge; health professionals
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Fijan, S.; Frauwallner, A.; Varga, L.; Langerholc, T.; Rogelj, I.; Lorber, M.; Lewis, P.; Povalej Bržan, P. Health Professionals’ Knowledge of Probiotics: An International Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3128.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Search more from Scilit
Back to TopTop