The effect of omega-3 fatty acids on depression is well documented. The purpose of this study was to determine if and how food is used as medicine in psychiatric care, especially how omega-3 fatty acids are used as a supplement in the treatment of depression. This is a pilot study with a qualitative design using questionnaires and interviews among nursing students, tutor nurses and psychiatrists. Three main categories emerged: 1. Nutrition is considered important but few evaluations are made. 2. There was a lack of knowledge of the effects of Omega 3. 3. There was an unclear divisions of responsibility among health personell. A change in knowledge paradigms and clarification of responsibility is called for if food-as-medicine is to take its true place in psychiatric care. It is also necessary to include CAM and holistic perspectives. Further research is needed to determine why health education and health workers do not focus on nutrition therapy in psychiatric care. Further research is also needed to reveal both the patients, the GPs and the CAM practitionaires knowledge and attitude to the use of dietary supplements.
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