Nearly 30% of Children in the United States Use CAM
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, April 05, 2017 02:37 PM

News bite:  This study indicates that parents report that 26.6% of children had some form of pain condition during the past year.  21.3% used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).  Children without painful conditions used CAM only 8.1% of the time.

Chronic pain is reported by 15-25% of children. Growing evidence from clinical samples suggests that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are desired by families and may benefit some children with pain conditions. The objective of this study is to provide estimates of CAM use by children with pain in the United States.

We analyzed data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to estimate patterns, predictors, and perceived benefits of CAM use among children 4-17 years of age with and without painful conditions in the US. 

Parents reported that 26.6% of children had pain conditions (e.g. headache, abdominal, musculoskeletal pain) in the past year; of these children, 21.3% used CAM. In contrast only 8.1% of children without pain conditions used CAM. CAM use among children with pain was associated with female sex, higher income, and presence of 4+ comorbidities. Among children with pain who used CAM the 2 most commonly used CAM modalities were biologically-based therapies (47.3%) (e.g., special diets and herbal supplements) and manipulative or body-based therapies (46.3%) (e.g., chiropractic and massage).