Send to

Choose Destination
J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Nov;21(11):660-6. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0371. Epub 2015 Aug 24.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Patients at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Author information

1 Department of Pediatrics, University of Mississippi Medical Center , Jackson, MS.
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Mississippi , Medical Center, Jackson, MS.



To examine the prevalence and modalities of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in children with cancer and sickle cell disease; the reasons for use of CAM; and the use of CAM before, during, and after treatment in children with cancer.


This single-center, observational study administered caregivers a written questionnaire regarding the use of CAM therapies.


A total of 101 caregivers completed questionnaires. Including prayer, total CAM use in oncology and sickle cell disease was 64% and 63%, respectively. Non-prayer CAM use was 30% in oncology and 23% in sickle cell disease. Of respondents who reported using any CAM, the three most commonly used types were prayer (62.3% oncology; 60.0% sickle cell disease), vitamins/minerals (14.8% oncology; 10.0% sickle cell disease), and massage (9.8% oncology; 7.5% sickle cell disease). The primary reasons for using CAM were to provide hope, to improve quality of life, and to lessen adverse effects. In oncology patients, CAM use tended to increase during treatment compared with before and after treatment.


The reported prevalence of non-prayer CAM use was lower (23%-30%) in this sample than has been reported in national samples or other geographic regions of the United States. Nonetheless, participants reported many positive reasons for using CAM, including to gain hope, improve quality of life, and control pain. Thus, CAM use appears to be an important aspect of medical care for many pediatric hematology/oncology families and should be a consideration when providers are discussing treatment and quality of care with families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center