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Half of elderly care physicians in the Netherlands do not follow vitamin D guidelines – 2013

[Vitamin D supplementation in the elderly: guidelines and practice].

[Article in Dutch] Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2013;157(33):A5779.
Chel VG, Elders PJ, Tuijp ML, van den Berg HH, van Drongelen KI, Siedenburg RC, Ooms ME, Lips PT.
Verpleeg-, behandel- en huntingtoncentrum Topaz Overduin, Katwijk.

OBJECTIVE: In 2008, the Health Council of the Netherlands published an advice on vitamin D supplementation for the elderly. Nevertheless, suspicion arose at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the Netherlands Nutrition Centre that vitamin D supplementation in the elderly is still insufficient. We aimed to determine the extent to which general practitioners and elderly care physicians actually followed the advice of the Health Council.

DESIGN: Questionnaire study.

METHOD: Brief questionnaires were sent to all elderly care physicians in the Netherlands. Some questions were also posed to general practitioners at a network meeting of the Academic Network of GP Practices of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.

RESULTS: More than two-thirds of the respondents, both elderly care physicians and general practitioners, are familiar with the guidelines of the Health Council of the Netherlands on vitamin D supplementation in the elderly, but about half do not prescribe vitamin D when the guideline advises to do so.
When supplementation is prescribed, about half of the elderly care physicians and a fifth of the general practitioners uses an insufficient dose.

CONCLUSION: The guidelines of the Health Council of the Netherlands on vitamin D supplementation in the elderly are not sufficiently followed by elderly care physicians and general practitioners. Awareness of and support for the vitamin D supplementation guidelines among health care providers is still limited.

PMID: 23945431

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