Use of complementary and alternative medicine and the anxiety levels of mothers of children with chronic diseases

Jpn J Nurs Sci. 2012 Jun;9(1):19-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7924.2011.00179.x. Epub 2011 Mar 14.


Aims: This study aimed to determine the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by mothers with a chronically ill child and their anxiety levels.

Methods: This study used a descriptive design. The study was conducted with 135 mothers of a chronically ill child at a general pediatric and oncology unit in Uludağ University Hospital, Bursa, Turkey. A questionnaire, including sociodemographic items and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, were given to the mothers.

Results: In the study, 42.29% of the mothers reported using one or more CAM therapies for their child with a chronic disease, including herbal medicine, taking the child to hodja (prayers), a special diet, and a special massage. The mothers experienced anxiety and the presence of a disease within the close family circle increased the anxiety level of the mothers.

Conclusion: Herbs and other alternative supplements were used by some children with a chronic disease in Turkey. The most commonly used CAM therapies included oral herbal medicine, taking the child to hodja, massage, and diets. Therefore, it is important to consider the implications of the popularity of complementary therapies. Most of the mothers used more than one of these therapies for their child and the anxiety level of the mothers was found to be moderate.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Caregivers / psychology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease / nursing*
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Complementary Therapies / psychology
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Massage / psychology
  • Massage / statistics & numerical data
  • Medicine, Traditional / psychology
  • Medicine, Traditional / statistics & numerical data
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Turkey