Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Children With Cancer and General and Specialty Pediatrics


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Abstract

The objective of this survey is to determine the frequency, reasons, and factors influencing use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in general and specialty pediatrics within the same geographic area. Of the 281 surveys completed, CAM use was higher in children with epilepsy (61.9%), cancer (59%), asthma (50.7%), and sickle cell disease (47.4%) than in general pediatrics (36%). Children most often used prayer (60.5%), massage (27.9%), specialty vitamins (27.2%), chiropractic care (25.9%), and dietary supplements (21.8%). Parents who used CAM for themselves (68.7%) were more likely to access CAM for their child. Most parents (62.6%) disclosed some or all of their child's use of CAM to providers. This study confirms that within the same geographic region, children with chronic and life-threatening illness use more CAM therapies than children seen in primary care clinics. Children with cancer use CAM for different reasons than children with non- life-threatening illnesses.

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