Complementary or alternative? Patterns of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among Finnish children.
ABSTRACT PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to measure patterns of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among Finnish children and to explore whether CAM use among children is mainly complementary or alternative. METHODS: We carried out a cross-sectional population-based survey in spring 2007. The study population consisted of a representative sample (n = 6,000) of Finnish children under 12 years of age. A questionnaire was sent to their parents, and 4,032 questionnaires were returned (response rate 67 %). Pearson's chi-square test and logistic regression analysis were conducted to measure factors associated with CAM use. RESULTS: The prevalence of CAM use among children was 11 %. Fish oils and fatty acids (6 %) followed by probiotics (4 %) were the most commonly reported CAMs used. Being the first born, using vitamins and having at least one symptom predicted the use of CAMs. Parental use of vitamins and CAMs were also associated with CAM use among children. In the preceding 2 days, 3 % of children in the study had used only CAMs, and 7 % had used a CAM concomitantly with prescribed and/or over-the-counter medicines. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that the use of CAMs among Finnish children is mainly for improving health and alleviating symptoms, especially in families where at least one parent also uses these modalities. CAMs were mainly used as complementary rather than as an alternative to conventional care. Healthcare professionals should be aware of this complementary use of CAMs and medicines in patients to avoid risks of potential interactions.
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The purposes of this descriptive study were to: (a) describe the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices for children as reported by their parents, and (b) to develop a CAM screening tool. A convenience sample of 191 parents was obtained from 3 primary care settings within a midwestern, metropolitan area. The questionnaire consisted of: (a) seven screening questions, (b) a list of specific CAM therapies used by children and by parents, (c) six open-ended questions about sick child care, and (d) a demographic section. Thirty-three percent of parents reported using CAM for their child within the past year, most commonly citing infant massage, massage therapy, vitamin therapy, and botanical products. Analysis revealed that White parents who used CAM for themselves and had children school-age and older were significantly more likely to provide CAM for their child. Chi-square analyses between the responses to selected screening questions and use of CAM were statistically (P =.001) significant but identified only 24% of the parents who used CAM for their children. Pediatric nurses should ask parents and children about CAM use in an open manner that promotes discussion. Further refinement of the screening tool is needed.Journal of Pediatric Health Care 01/2003; 17(2):58-63. · 1.76 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A high prevalence of CAM use has been documented worldwide in children and adolescents with chronic illnesses. Only a small number of studies, however, have been conducted in the United Kingdom. The primary aim of this study was to examine the use of CAM by children and adolescents with a wide spectrum of acute and chronic medical problems in a tertiary children's hospital in Wales. Structured personal interviews of 100 inpatients and 400 outpatients were conducted over a 2-month period in 2004. The yearly and monthly prevalence of CAM use were assessed and divided into medicinal and non-medicinal therapies. This use was correlated with socio-demographic factors. There were 580 patients approached to attain 500 completed questionnaires. The use of at least one type of CAM in the past year was 41% (95% CI 37-46%) and past month 26% (95% CI 23-30%). The yearly prevalence of medicinal CAM was 38% and non-medicinal 12%. The users were more likely to have parents that were tertiary educated (mother: OR = 2.3, 95%CI 1.6-3.3) and a higher family income (Pearson chi-square for trend = 14.3, p < 0.001). The most common medicinal types of CAM were non-prescribed vitamins and minerals (23%) and herbal therapies (10%). Aromatherapy (5%) and reflexology (3%) were the most prevalent non-medicinal CAMs. None of the inpatient medical records documented CAM use in the past month. Fifty-two percent of medicinal and 38% of non-medicinal CAM users felt their doctor did not need to know about CAM use. Sixty-six percent of CAM users did not disclose the fact to their doctor. Three percent of all participants were using herbs and prescription medicines concurrently. There is a high prevalence of CAM use in our study population. Paediatricians need to ensure that they ask parents and older children about their CAM usage and advise caution with regard to potential interactions.CAM is a rapidly expanding industry that requires further evidence-based research to provide more information on the effectiveness and safety of many CAM therapies. Statutory or self-regulation of the different segments of the industry is important. Integration of CAM with allopathic western medicine through education and better communication is slowly progressing.BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 02/2006; 6:16. · 2.08 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Despite growing pressure against homoeopathy, an unexpected resurgence in the use of homoeopathy has been reported. It is of interest to examine the use of homoeopathy and user profiles among children in Germany. Last-week homoeopathy use was recorded among 17,450 children aged 0-17 years who participated in the 2003-2006 German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS). The complex sample method was used to estimate the prevalence of, and factors associated with, homoeopathy use. Nine hundred and fifty-one homoeopathic preparations were used by 718 children (weighted prevalence 4.6%). Nearly half of the homoeopathic preparations were obtained by prescriptions from medical doctors or Heilpraktiker (non-medical practitioners) and used most often to treat certain self-limiting conditions. About 60% of homoeopathy users concomitantly received conventional medicines. Homoeopathy use was closely related to socioeconomic factors, with a significantly higher prevalence rate found in the 0-6 year age group [prevalence 6.2%, odds ratio 2.2, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) 1.7-2.9], among children residing in the former West Germany [5.1%, 2.2(1.5-3.2)] or the south of Germany [6.6%, 1.7(1.3-2.4)], among children with a poor health status [6.8%, 3.0(2.2-4.2)], with no immigration background [5.3%, 3.7(2.2-6.1)], who received breast-feeding >6 months [7.6%, 2.1(1.6-2.9)], were from upper social-class families [7.4%, 1.8(1.1-2.8)] and whose children's mothers were college educated [7.2%, 1.6(1.2-2.2)]. Paediatric homoeopathy is quite popular in Germany, particularly among children from families with a higher socioeconomic status. The high level of paediatric homoeopathy use in Germany warrants a critical review to determine whether it is evidence based and cost-effective.Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 03/2009; 18(5):370-9. · 2.90 Impact Factor