Pediatric users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) were more likely to take prescription medications, have a parent who used CAM, and have chronic conditions such as anxiety or stress, musculoskeletal conditions, dermatologic conditions or sinusitis, according to a recent study to be published in the journal Pediatrics
Limited data are available on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and factors associated with use among the pediatric population in the U.S.
Researchers used 2007 National Health Interview Survey data of individuals <18 years of age (n = 9417) to compare CAM users (excluding those using vitamins and minerals) and non-CAM users. Using bivariable and multivariable logistic regression models, they examined independent associations of CAM use with sociodemographic factors, prescription medication use, delays in healthcare caused by access difficulties and common medical conditions/symptoms.
In an adjusted multivariable logistic model, CAM users were more likely than non-CAM users to be adolescents rather than infants or toddlers; live in the West, Northeast or Midwest compared with those in the South; more likely to have a parent with a college education; and more likely to use prescription medication. Pediatric CAM users were more likely to have anxiety or stress, dermatologic conditions, musculoskeletal conditions, and sinusitis. Use of CAM by a parent was strongly associated with the child's use of CAM.
Study, authors concluded that more research is required to guide pediatricians in making recommendations on CAM modalities for children, including potential risks and/or benefits and interactions with conventional therapies.