Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Murugi Ndirangu - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Mildred Cody - Committee Co-Chair

Third Advisor

Susan Roman - Committee Member

Fourth Advisor

Tai Wang - Committee Member


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has become very popular with populations internationally and in the United States. CAM is defined as “a group of diverse medical and health systems, practices and products that are not generally considered as part of conventional medicine”. CAM is described as having five specific divisions: whole medical systems, mind-body medicine, biologically-based practices, manipulative- or body-based practices, and energy medicine. Recent studies have shown that CAM use is increasing. In the US 33% of the population reported using CAM in 1990, but 1997 usage rates increased to over 41%. The popularity of CAM is one of the reasons for the creation of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) by the National Institutes of Health the Federal Government's lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine”. NCCAM information was the foundation for this project. The goals of this project are to evaluate the interest of dietitians in Georgia in CAM and introduce participants of this project to a segment of CAM treatments. The primary research question is: Are dietitians in the state of Georgia interested in using CAM as part of their practice? There were three distinct portions to this project; the initial survey of the dietitian participants, the development and use of the introductory CAM lesson, and the evaluation of this lesson and final survey. The data from both the first and second surveys as well as the post test does support a positive answer to the research question, “Are registered dietitians in the state of Georgia interested in CAM? The results clearly indicate an interest from both the survey 1 and survey 2/ post test group. Some may ask, “Is this really of any importance to the dietetics profession?” The answer to this can be found in the nutrition literature. Conducting a topic search of “Complementary and alternative medicine” in three predominant nutrition journals: the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, The Journal of Nutrition and The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, revealed more than 17,000 articles. These articles range for original research to review of original research to commentary articles evaluating the use of CAM to the dietetics practice. A number of articles addressed the importance of CAM in dietetics education as well as its importance to the practice and reimbursement for services.


Included in

Nutrition Commons