Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Pediatr. 2003 Dec;162(12):820-7. Epub 2003 Sep 26.

Patterns and perceptions of complementary/alternative medicine among paediatricians and patients' mothers: a review of the literature.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine and Public Health, Section of Pharmacology, University of Verona, Policlinico G.B. Rossi, P.le LA Scuro 10, 37134, Verona, Italy.


For many families and their children, the use of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) is an accepted adjunct or alternative to conventional therapy, even if data available in the literature regarding risks and adverse drug reactions (ADRs) pertaining to childhood populations are scarce. Moreover, despite widespread and increasing use of CAM, there are limited data on how paediatricians communicate with mothers and/or patients about CAM. Therefore, we report the studies available in the literature in the paediatric field and summarise what is known about ADRs and risks of CAM, taking into account in particular problems related to interactions between phytotherapy and conventional medicines and to counselling.


from the analysis of the literature, some interesting aspects emerge: (1) the extent of CAM use in the paediatric field is increasingly sought by parents of children with chronic illnesses; (2) most parents who choose CAM medicine for their children believe that these therapies are "natural" and thus "safe" and (3) physicians often feel to know too little about CAM and wish to learn more for different reasons including "to dissuade whether the alternative method is unsafe and/or ineffective". Therefore, paediatricians should be prepared to discuss alternative therapies with parents, since talking about CAM may help to minimise the risks and to restrain parental misconceptions and doubts. Educational interventions for parents should also be performed to bring about a more aware use of traditional and alternative medicines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk