Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Pediatric Rheumatology.
Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is defined as a group of
diverse medical health care systems and practices, including natural products, mind-body
medicine, manipulative body-based practices, practices of energy therapy, and whole
medicinal systems. Studies suggest that CAM therapy in the adult population has
increased in recent decades. Information about the... read moreextent of CAM usage among children
and adolescents with chronic rheumatologic disorders, although anecdotally suspected, is
not routinely collected. Objective: The purpose of this exploratory study was to solicit
information on CAM usage from parents seeking care for their children in a pediatric
rheumatology sub-specialty clinic. Methods: A previously field-tested survey of CAM
usage was adapted for the pediatric rheumatology clinic population. The survey consisted
of general demographic questions and specific questions on CAM use. Parents or
caregivers of patients followed in the Pediatric Rheumatology Division at an academic
medical center were invited to complete the survey during the recruiting period, which
extended from June to October 2010. Results: 202 of 203 parents invited to participate
in the survey completed it with the majority being mothers (88%) and Caucasian (91%)
with a mean age of 42 years. Their children were predominantly female (67%) with a mean
age 12.8 years. 63% of patients had juvenile idiopathic arthritis, although children
with several other chronic conditions were also included. Overall, 50% of patients were
CAM users. Of the CAM modalities, 69% of patients reported use of high-dose vitamin,
mineral, or supplements. Of the CAM users, 42% had a parent or immediate family member
with a history of CAM use, compared with 15% of non-CAM users. 80% of CAM users had a
parent with some degree of college education, compared with 67% of non-users.
Multivariate logistic regression revealed an adjusted OR of 3.8 (CI 1.8-8.1, p<0.001)
for CAM use if a family member had used CAM. Conclusions: CAM use was common among
patients followed in a pediatric rheumatology clinic (50%). Family use of CAM was
strongly associated with patient CAM use. Very little is known about the benefits or
potential harms of CAM despite its widespread use. It is important for physicians to
understand factors that influence decisions to use CAM in children and what benefits
parents seek with CAM use.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2011.
Submitted to the Dept. of Clinical & Translational Science.
Advisor: Susan Parsons.
Committee: Laurie Miller, and Robin Ruthazer.
Keyword: Medicine.read less