Knowledge and usage patterns of folic acid amongst Physician Assistant students at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Holly West, Judy Ann Acosta, Amanda M. Reynado, Kathryn A. Rougraff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Physician Assistant (PA) students are educated that 400 micrograms (μg) of daily folic acid (FA) is a vital component of prenatal care to reduce fetal development abnormalities. Studies have shown that higher education level is correlative with the use of daily FA in women of reproductive age. The objective of this study was to assess PA students' knowledge of the physiologic implications of FA supplementation, the recommended dosage and intake regimen, and how having this knowledge impacted their behavior. A knowledge-based questionnaire was given to 59 first year female PA students and 39 third year female PA students at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB). Overall FA use amongst female UTMB PA students is 66.3%. Furthermore, 40% of the third year students consumed 400 μg of FA daily as opposed to 7.8% of the first year students. One-hundred percent of the third year students knew that FA deficiency caused NTDs, and 86.4% of the first year students recognized this causation. There was poor compliance for following the United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended FA regimen amongst students in the UTMB PA program. The results in our study were comparable to the previous publications, finding that the majority of women in both our study and the general population acknowledged the importance of FA supplementation.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalInternet Journal of Academic Physician Assistants
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Nov 30 2010



    • Folic acid
    • Healthcare providers
    • Neural tube defects
    • Physician Assistants students
    • Pregnancy
    • Reproductive age

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nurse Assisting

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