Skip to main content

P04.43. Children with common neurological conditions use complementary and alternative medicine twice as frequently as those without

Purpose

Recent literature suggests that one in nine children in the US uses some type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Children with challenging neurological conditions such as headaches, migraines, and seizures may seek CAM in their attempts at self-care. Our objective was to describe CAM use in children with these conditions.

Methods

We compared use of CAM in 9,417 children with and without common neurological conditions (headaches, migraines, seizures), using the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data, where CAM might plausibly play a role in their self management.

Results

Children with common neurological conditions reported significantly more CAM use compared to the children without these symptoms (22.2% vs 11.0%, p<0.0001). Compared to other pediatric CAM users, children with neurological conditions report significantly higher use of mind-body techniques than those without (36.6% vs 20.5%, p<0.007). Of the mind-body techniques, deep breathing (33.7%), meditation (13.3%), and progressive relaxation (9.4%) were used most frequently.

Conclusion

CAM use is twice as common in children with common neurological conditions compared to those without. More work is needed to further characterize the nature of CAM use in this population as well as its benefits on neurological disease. Whether and how to harness the self-management benefits of some CAM modalities in the care of pediatric patients with neurological conditions is an important area of investigation.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to L Jansons.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Jansons, L., James, K., Ziegenfuss, J. et al. P04.43. Children with common neurological conditions use complementary and alternative medicine twice as frequently as those without. BMC Complement Altern Med 12, P313 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-12-S1-P313

Download citation

Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Internal Medicine
  • Migraine
  • National Health
  • Pediatric Patient