Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Parent-pediatrician communication about complementary and alternative medicine use for children

TitleParent-pediatrician communication about complementary and alternative medicine use for children
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSibinga, EMS, Ottolini, MC, Duggan, AK, Wilson, MH
JournalClinical Pediatrics
ISBN Number00099228 (ISSN)
KeywordsAcupuncture Therapy, Adult, Age Factors, alternative medicine, association, attitude to health, bioenergy, caregiver, Caregivers, Child, childhood disease, Complementary Therapies, Disclosure, doctor patient relation, Educational Status, Ethnic Groups, health survey, Homeopathy, human, Humans, interpersonal communication, Linear Models, major clinical study, Musculoskeletal Manipulations, parental behavior, parental notification, Parents, pediatrician, Pediatrics, Phytotherapy, Professional-Family Relations, review, risk factor, Self Care, Self Report, Spiritual Therapies, Therapeutic Touch

Anonymous self-report surveys of a convenience sample of caregivers accompanying children to the pediatrician for acute or well visits at 4 pediatric practices in the Washington, DC area from July through November 1998 were evaluated. Three hundred seventy-eight (85%) of 443 caregivers approached participated. The 348 surveys completed by parents (92%) were analyzed. As previously reported, in this sample 21% of parents used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for their child. Overall, 53% of parents expressed the desire to discuss CAM with their pediatrician, increasing to 75% (p<0.001) among those who used CAM themselves and 81% (p<0.01) among those who used CAM for their child. Among parents who used CAM for their child, 36% had discussed it with their pediatrician. Factors associated with increased disclosure to the pediatrician were CAM use in children younger than 6 years (p<0.05), "bioenergetic" CAM use (p<0.02), and parent CAM non-use (p<0.05). Despite parents' significant interest in discussion about CAM, few factors were associated with adequate parent-pediatrician communication.