210482 Benefits and Risks of Seafood Consumption: Outreach Education for Healthcare Providers and Practitioners

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:48 PM

Doris T. Hicks, MS , Sea Grant College Program, University of Delaware, Lewes, DE
The results of a internet survey about consumers understanding of the 2004 FDA/EPA Advisory about Mercury in Seafood lead a project team to investigate the importance for the medical community to have access to clear and accurate information about seafood and its impact on health for at - risk and other patient groups. There is a need to recognize the range of perspectives for almost any nutritional recommendation and that the more targeted, informed and balanced the recommendation, the better that advisory will be. An internet needs assessment survey was developed for healthcare providers to develop a communication program for the health care community that educates providers about benefits/risks of seafood consumption, and supplies educational tools for them to share with their clients and/or patients. Seafood is growing front and center as a healthy food source worldwide; we want to ensure that the best science-based information is easily available to health care practitioners and their clients. Over 700 healthcare providers were surveyed across the country using an Internet-based questionnaire. Healthcare providers were asked several demographic questions to help compare their responses. They were also asked about their awareness and knowledge of the Advisory. The Advisory recommendations are not clearly understood by consumers - what about healthcare providers?

Learning Objectives:
Identify the factors that impact decision making of consumers about the benefits and risks of fish and shellfish consumption. Evaluate the educational and information needs of healthcare providers to protect at risk individuals and community health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Doris Hicks has been the Seafood Technology Specialist for the Delaware Sea Grant program at the University of Delaware for over 27 years. D. Hicks has also been a member of the National Seafood HACCP Alliance Steering Committee for over ten years. D. Hicks is also currently involved with three projects USDA-funded project teams: Inactivation of Viruses in Ready-to-Eat Foods by High Pressure, Development of an Internet Based GMP Course for Food Processing Plant Managers and in plant training tools for workers. In addition, D. Hicks and a University of Rhode Island colleague, has also developed and conducted a national internet based survey to assess consumer knowledge of the benefits and risks of seafood consumption as a result of the FDA/EPA seafood health advisory, and general seafood consumption patterns. She has work with the Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center Regional Extension Project and developed a program for Aquaculture Specialists called Creating a Balance: Understanding the Benefits and Risks of Seafood Consumption a professional development seminar.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.