Complementary and alternative medicine use among youth with juvenile arthritis: are youth using CAM, but not talking about it?

J Adolesc Health. 2012 Aug;51(2):200-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.01.003. Epub 2012 Mar 12.


Purpose: To examine self-reported use and correlates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in adolescents with juvenile arthritis (JA).

Methods: One hundred thirty-four adolescents with JA completed an online survey of their use of, interest in, and discussions about CAM. The PedsQL 4.0 SF15 assessed quality of life.

Results: The majority (72%) of youth reported using ≥1 CAM modality. Use did not differ by sex, age, race, or geographic location. The most commonly used CAM modalities were yoga (45%) and meditation, relaxation, or guided imagery (40%). Low psychosocial quality of life was associated with massage and meditation, relaxation, or guided imagery use (p < .05). Only 46% of youth reported discussing CAM with a health care provider. Nonusers were most interested in learning more about massage (79%) and yoga (57%).

Conclusions: Youth with JA reported high use of CAM, but few discussed CAM with health care providers. Findings suggest practitioners should engage adolescents in discussions about CAM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / therapy*
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Data Collection
  • Disclosure*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Quality of Life
  • Young Adult