Complementary and alternative medicine use in children with asthma.

Affiliation

Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, 1151 Richmond St, London, ON, N6A 5C1, Canada. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

OBJECTIVE : To estimate the overall prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine and specific modalities used among children with asthma, identify predictors of use, and perceived positive or negative effects of therapies.
RESULTS : Of the 161 children enrolled in the study, 76.4% had ever used complementary and alternative medicine. Humidifiers, air purifiers, and multivitamins were the most common modalities used. Complementary and alternative medicine use in children was associated with family use, younger child age, and disease severity, indicated by recent asthma exacerbation. The majority of participants perceived benefit from their complementary and alternative medicine use, with very few reporting negative side effects. Only 36.7% of participants reported discussing their complementary and alternative medicine use with the asthma clinic healthcare team.
CONCLUSIONS : The prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine use in children with asthma is high, with the majority of families perceiving benefit from its use. This study offers clinicians a reference to inform families regarding the subjective helpfulness of various types of complementary and alternative medicine modalities that can facilitate the dialogue between health care professionals and families interested in complementary and alternative medicine use.