THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINEVolume 18, Number 8, 2012, pp. 1–2 ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
DOI: 10.1089/acm.2012.0398 High Frequency of CAM Use Among Children in Germany Anne Weissenstein, Alexandra Straeter, Gloria Villalon, Elisabeth Luchter, MD, and Stefan Bittmann, MD The numerous studies on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among children carried out in various countries indicate a prevalence of CAM use in chil- dren with acute conditions of 12%–23%1,2 and 44%–54% for children with chronic illnesses.3 So far, no studies about the frequency of CAM use in children have been conducted inGermany. As possible side-effects4 and interactions with other drugs may occur, it is necessary to further analyze which types of CAM are the most frequently used. With the intention of assessing the prevalence and the exact sub- stances of CAM that are currently being used by children, we Our survey was distributed to 185 parents visiting our pediatric day center in Epe (Germany) between September and November 2011 with their children. The main questions in our survey addressed the frequency of CAM use in chil-dren and the substances that were used. Furthermore, it was Each used by 1 patient with 0.75% of CAM: inhalation, etheric oils, inquired whether the physician knew about this.
compresses, olive oil, belladonna, quirk cough syrup, schuesslersalts, chamomile, iron supplements, cottage cheese, potatoes, thyme, Of 185 questionnaires distributed, 115 were returned (62.2%). As a result of our evaluation, it was found that75.7% of all children treated at our pediatric day centerhave received CAM from their parents. Most children natural products, with no side-effects and therefore (58.4%) received a combination of CAM and conventional harmless, the use of CAM has been reported to affect medicine, while 15.6% used CAM alone and 26.0% used treatment outcomes adversely.4 Few physicians know that only conventional prescribed medications. The physician the use of honey may cause infant botulism,5 that herbal knew in only half of the cases (50.6%) that his patient teas such as chamomile contain coumarins and could takes CAM, and less than half of the parents (43.6%) therefore cause bleeding,6 or that nonprescribed vitamins know that interaction between prescribed drugs and when used in the wrong dosage can be hepatotoxic.7 De- CAM is possible. The substances that were used are spite all side-effects and interactions of CAM, it is probable manifold, mainly herbal teas or other herbal supplements that the highest risks occur when conventional medicine is (30.8%), honey (26.3%), and nonprescribed vitamins stopped or altered in favor of complementary medicine.4 (11.3%) were used. Furthermore, various other remedies That is why it is of utmost importance for the parents to such as homeopathy, onions, or globuli have been given communicate with the doctor and inform him about pos- sible treatment alterations or supplements of their children.
The prevalence of CAM use among children is about The physician, on the other hand, should be aware that three quarters (75.7%), much higher than other studies CAM is used very often and he should encourage the have indicated,1–3 and in half of the cases (50.6%) the doctor is oblivious about this. As numerous side-effects of However, when used in a well-modulated manner and in herbal remedies and possible interactions with conven- accord with the physician, CAM can significantly improve tional medicine exist,4 the discrepancy between CAM use the child’s health.8 CAM could be further integrated in and the doctor’s knowledge about the consumption of al- ternative remedies may possibly result in endangering the doctor is indispensable along with good parent–doctor child’s health. Despite the general belief that CAM use Ped Mind Institute, Gronau, Germany.
6. Vaes LP, Chyka PA. Interactions of warfarin with garlic, ginger, ginkgo, or ginseng: Nature of the evidence. Ann No competing financial interests exist.
7. Haslam RH, Dalby JT, Rademaker AW. Effects of megavita- min therapy on children with attention deficit disorders. Pe- 1. Ottolini M, Hamburger E, Loprieato J, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine use among children in Washington, 8. Riley D, Fischer M, Singh B, et al. Homeopathy and con- DC area. Ambul Pediatr 2001;1:122–125.
ventional medicine: An outcomes study comparing effec- 2. Smith C, Eckert K. Prevalence of complementary and alter- tiveness in a primary care setting. J Altern Complement Med native medicine and use among children in South Australia. J Paediatr Child Health 2006;42:538–543.
3. Shenfield G, Lim E, Allen H. Survey of the use of comple- mentary medicines and therapies in children with asthma. J Paediatr Child Health 2002;38:252–257.
4. Lim A, Cranswick N, South M. Adverse events associated with the use of complementary and alternative medicine in children. Arch Dis Child 2011;96:297–300.
5. Kumar R, Lorenc A, Robinson N, et al. Parents’ and primary healthcare practitioners’ perspectives on the safety of honey and other traditional paediatric healthcare approaches. ChildCare Health Dev 2011;37:734–743.
AUTHOR QUERY FOR ACM-2012-0398-VER9-WEISSENSTEIN_1P AU1: Provide letter degrees for all authorsAU2: Clarify ‘‘school medicine’’: does this mean nurses’ offices in the childrens’ schools? Or does it mean medical

Source: http://ped-mind-institute.de/downloads/ACM-2012-0398-Weissenstein_1P.pdf


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