Use of alternative therapies by patients presenting to a pediatric emergency department

J Emerg Med. 2005 Apr;28(3):267-271. doi: 10.1016/j.jemermed.2004.11.019.


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is used by some patients to supplement their health care. Information on the use of CAM in children who are not chronically ill is sparse. We conducted a survey of caregivers presenting to a tertiary pediatric Emergency Department to determine CAM use in this population. Six hundred twenty questionnaires (77.6% of those distributed) were available for analysis. Approximately 13% of caregivers reported using CAM for their child. The most common CAM therapies used were homeopathy (20%), prayer/spiritual approaches (19.7%), and massage therapy (16.7%). Age of child greater than 1 year was associated with CAM use (p < 0.05), as was parental higher education (p < 0.0001). Income, ethnicity, parental age, and chronic illness were not correlated with CAM use. CAM therapies are infrequently used in pediatric patients presenting to the Emergency Department.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Complementary Therapies / trends
  • Educational Status
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Homeopathy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Infant
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires