Prevalence of Using Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Children and Its Related Factors in East Iran


Azita Fesharakinia 1 , * , Mohammadreza Abedini 2

How to Cite: Fesharakinia A , Abedini M. Prevalence of Using Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Children and Its Related Factors in East Iran, Iran J Pediatr. 2014 ; 24(1):111-114.


Iranian Journal of Pediatrics: 24 (1); 111-114
Published Online: November 22, 2013
Article Type: Rapid Communication
Received: January 26, 2013
Accepted: September 09, 2013


Objective: Recently application of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing in children worldwide. The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence, related factors, types, the sources of information and knowledge of mothers for the possible side effects. Methods: This descriptive and analytical study carried out within three months from April-June 2012 through oral interviews and questionnaires with 300 mothers of children referred to pediatric clinic in Vali-Asr Hospital, Birjand (center of South Khorasan province: East of Iran). Findings: 35.6% of mothers had used CAM as medication at least once for their children during the last year. There was a significant and direct correlation between using CAM for children with increased maternal age, decreased level of mother’s education, mother being as a housewife and having more than two children. Most (93.3%) common treatments included medicinal herbs, oil rub (26.6 %) and prayer therapy (25.7%). Relative (72%) and neighbors (50%) were the most sources for mother’s information while physicians consist only 2% of the information source.  Only 1.3% of mothers knew that CAM may also exert some side effects. Conclusion: Considering the fact that about one third of mothers used CAM modalities, physicians were the least maternal source of CAM information, nearly all mothers were unaware of the side effects of CAM It is recommended that physicians should learn about the CAM to enable them for providing information to parents regarding its benefits and disadvantages. It is also highly recommended to enhance community knowledge about the proper use of different kinds of CAM.




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