Complementary medicine use in multi-ethnic paediatric outpatients

Robinson, N., Blair, M., Lorenc, A., Gully, N., Fox, P. and Mitchell, K. (2007)

The aim of this study was to determine the prevelance and determinants of complementary medicine (CM) use in a multi-ethnic paediatric outpatient population.  Parents of children attending paediatric general and sub-specialist outpatients clinics at a North West London hospital were asked to complete a questionnaire survey between September and December 2005.

The use of CM was found to be higher than expected at 37%, and was correlated with parental use of CM and education but was independent of ethnic group.

The main reasons for use of CM were word of mouth (45%), with the main source of information being from friends and family (51%).  The most popular treatments were found to be homeopathy and herbal medicine, with 88% of CM being purchased over the counter, and 53% not being reported to their doctor.

The study concludes that the use of CM amongst children was higher than previously estimated in the UK, which would suggest the need for greater professional awareness of CM as a part of clinical care.

Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2007) Article in Press Corrected Proof

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