Complementary and alternative medicine among hospitalized pediatric patients

Adi Oren-Amit, Matitiahu Berkovitch, Hilla Bahat, Michael Goldman, Eran Kozer, Ibrahim Abu-Kishk*, Tomer Ziv-Baran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives To estimate the prevalence and describe the characteristics of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among hospitalized children, and to discover the awareness of medical staff regarding CAM use. Design/Setting Parents of children aged 0–18 years admitted to the Pediatric Division at Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Israel between January and July of 2015 (n = 146) were provided a questionnaire regarding socio-economic status and evaluating the CAM use. The medical charts of the participants were reviewed in order to establish whether or not CAM use was documented. Results Of those who completed the questionnaire, 78 (54.3%) were using CAM. The major indications for CAM use were colic and teething. CAM use was advised by the family in 44.9%, physician 34.6%, pharmacist 34.6%, friends 30.8%, previous experience 23.1, advertisements 18%, nurses 6.4%, and homeopaths 2.6%. The family physician was aware of CAM use was in 42%. During the admission, only 5 patients were asked about CAM use (3.4%) by the medical staff. Reviewing the medical charts revealed there was no documentation of CAM use in any of the participants. Socio-demographic analysis of our population revealed no differences between users and non users of CAM, but significant differences in belief in CAM (p = 0.018) were found. CAM use was age related; the older the child the less the use (p = 0.010). Conclusion CAM use is common among hospitalized pediatric patients and is often overlooked by the medical staff. CAM use should be included in the medical history.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-52
Number of pages4
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Alternative medicine
  • Complementary medicine
  • Diet-based therapies
  • Herbal
  • Homeopathic
  • Hospitalized children


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