Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Pediatric Gastroenterology Outpatient Clinic: Cross-sectional Study

Güven B., Sağ E., İssi F., Orhan F., Çakır M.

TÜRKİYE KLİNİKLERİ PEDİATRİ DERGİSİ, vol.30, no.3, pp.184-191, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


ABS TRACT Objective: Although there is sufficient data on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in adults, the data on children is relatively limited. The present study was designed to investigate the frequency and factors associated with CAM usage in children with chronic liver and gastrointestinal diseases. Material and Methods: The study included patients aged 0-18 years who were followed up for chronic liver disease or gastrointestinal diseases. A questionnaire was administered to their parents, which probed information on the demographic characteristics and CAM use in children and the socioeconomic status and educational level of parents. Results: The study involved a total of 135 patients (60% girls, mean age of 10.45±5.05 years). Of these, 20 patients (14.8%) were found to be using CAM. The duration of CAM users' follow-up period was significantly higher than non-CAM user (5.84±3.71 years vs. 4.06±3.25 years, p=0.030). The frequency of CAM usage was significantly higher in patients with celiac disease (22.9%, p=0.049) and liver transplant recipients (44.4%, p=0.009). The frequency of CAM usage was significantly higher in patients who were not prescribed or were currently not using any conventional medicine compared to patients using conventional medicine (65% vs. 38.3%, odds ratio: 2.997). Conclusion: Although the frequency of CAM usage was low in our patient group, we consider that parents and physicians should be in full cooperation about the use of CAM and the effectiveness, side effects, toxicity, and potential drug interactions of CAM therapies.