Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use at a Single Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center


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Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in an inflammatory bowel disease population at a single pediatric center. The secondary aims were to determine predictors of CAM use and assess parental attitude to CAM use. A survey was developed that was distributed electronically and given out in the clinic. Two hundred thirty-five surveys were analyzed. Thirty-six percent of respondents reported that their children had used CAM, while 19.6% were current users. Sixty-three percent of respondents were “extremely” or “very supportive” of CAM and 57.6% would have been “extremely” or “very supportive” at the time of their children's diagnosis. The most commonly used CAM modalities were fish oil (48.8%), probiotics (22.5%), acupuncture/pressure (17.5%), aloe (16.3%), yoga/meditation (16.3%), chiropractic (12%), and herbal medicine (13.8%). Multivariate analysis revealed 2 independent factors predictive of subjects using CAM: use of biologics (odds ratio of 2.8; p = .008) and subjects' parent using CAM (odds ratio of 10.9; p ≤ .001). More than one third of children in this study and their parents have used CAM. Families are supportive of CAM both at the time of diagnosis and as an ongoing component of their child's treatment even if they were not past or current users of CAM. Predictors of CAM use were treatment with a biologic and having a parent who used CAM.

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