Knowledge and Perceptions of Vitamin D among College Women Age 18-22 Years

Ellen Wingard, University of South Carolina


The purpose of this study is to assess the knowledge and perceptions regarding vitamin D among female college students, age 18-22, at a public university in the southeastern US. The study is a cross sectional design utilizing a qualitative method (focus groups) to create detailed descriptions of the knowledge and perceptions that college-age women have regarding vitamin D at a public university in South Carolina. A total of 22 undergraduate females participated in focus groups and personal interviews. Main outcome measures were knowledge and perceptions of supplements and vitamin D, as well as understanding college sources of health information and ways college students would disseminate messages about vitamin D. Data analysis was done by calculating mean and standard deviation found for continuous variables, percentage and frequency found for categorical variables, and by the creation of a codebook for focus groups themes. Results determined that college females have a broad knowledge of vitamin D, its sources, and its roles in the body. Further research is warranted in other racial and ethnic populations.