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Alternative Med Use Common in Pediatric Specialty Outpatients

Vitamins, herbs, massage among the most common currently used products and practices

MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is commonly used among pediatric specialty outpatients, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in Pediatrics.

Denise Adams, Ph.D., from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and colleagues surveyed parents to examine the prevalence and patterns of CAM use in subspecialty clinics at one children's hospital in western Canada (Edmonton) and one in central Canada (Ottawa).

The researchers found that CAM use was significantly higher at the western hospital (71 percent) than the central hospital (42 percent), despite similar demographic characteristics of the two populations. The majority of parents agreed or strongly agreed that they felt comfortable discussing use of CAM in their clinic. Multivitamins/minerals, herbal products, and homeopathic remedies were the most common currently used CAM products, while massage, chiropractic, relaxation, and aromatherapy were the most common currently used CAM practices. Participants reported 80 adverse effects with CAM, 55 of which were self-assessed as minor.

"CAM use is common in children," the authors write. "Parents would clearly like more information about CAM from their specialty clinics; such information would be easier to share if more primary data were available about the safety and effectiveness of commonly used therapies."

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