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Pediatrics. 2016 Nov;138(5). pii: e20154664. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Influenza Vaccine Uptake in US Children.

Author information

1
Department of Health Policy and Administration, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.
2
Department of Health Policy and Administration, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania rzb10@psu.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasingly used in the United States. Although CAM is mostly used in conjunction with conventional medicine, some CAM practitioners recommend against vaccination, and children who saw naturopathic physicians or chiropractors were less likely to receive vaccines and more likely to get vaccine-preventable diseases. Nothing is known about how child CAM usage affects influenza vaccination.

METHODS:

This nationally representative study analyzed ∼9000 children from the Child Complementary and Alternative Medicine File of the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. Adjusting for health services use factors, it examined influenza vaccination odds by ever using major CAM domains: (1) alternative medical systems (AMS; eg, acupuncture); (2) biologically-based therapies, excluding multivitamins/multiminerals (eg, herbal supplements); (3) multivitamins/multiminerals; (4) manipulative and body-based therapies (MBBT; eg, chiropractic manipulation); and (5) mind-body therapies (eg, yoga).

RESULTS:

Influenza vaccination uptake was lower among children ever (versus never) using AMS (33% vs 43%; P = .008) or MBBT (35% vs 43%; P = .002) but higher by using multivitamins/multiminerals (45% vs 39%; P < .001). In multivariate analyses, multivitamin/multimineral use lost significance, but children ever (versus never) using any AMS or MBBT had lower uptake (respective odds ratios: 0.61 [95% confidence interval: 0.44-0.85]; and 0.74 [0.58-0.94]).

CONCLUSIONS:

Children who have ever used certain CAM domains that may require contact with vaccine-hesitant CAM practitioners are vulnerable to lower annual uptake of influenza vaccination. Opportunity exists for US public health, policy, and medical professionals to improve child health by better engaging parents of children using particular domains of CAM and CAM practitioners advising them.

PMID:
27940756
PMCID:
PMC5079075
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2015-4664
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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