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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr ; 78(3): 573-582, 2024 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38284644


OBJECTIVES: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has gained increasing attention as a supportive treatment for chronic diseases such as epilepsy, migraine, autism, and cancer in children. This study aimed to determine the frequency, motivation, and outcomes of CAM in children with functional constipation. METHODS: From January 2018 till September 2019, parents of patients (0-18 years) who were treated for functional constipation (ROME IV-criteria) at our colorectal center were asked to complete a questionnaire on the utilization of CAM. Demographic data and clinical assessments were documented and analyzed for patients with and without CAM treatment. RESULTS: A total of 115 patients were included (mean age: 5.1 years; 49% males), of whom 29 (25%) used CAM as an alternative (4/29,14%) or in addition to conventional therapy (CT), including osteopathy (48%), homeopathy (45%), and natural/herbal remedies (17%). The main reason parents reported for the use of CAM was the urge to leave no treatment option unattempted (76%). Multivariate analysis also identified persistent constipation under CT (72%), adverse effects of CT (24%), and parental use of CAM themselves (83%) as independent variables associated with CAM use. Parents reported positive changes in stool frequency (38%) and fecal incontinence (21%) with CAM. The vast majority (93%) plan to use CAM in the future, and even non-CAM users showed high interest (60%). CONCLUSION: One in four children with functional constipation receives CAM. Significant improvement in stool frequency and continence is missing in the majority. However, parental interest in CAM remains high. Physicians should be aware of CAM when counseling families for functional constipation in children.

Complementary Therapies , Epilepsy , Child , Male , Humans , Child, Preschool , Female , Parents/psychology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Constipation/therapy
Eur J Paediatr Neurol ; 20(1): 11-9, 2016 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26614551


BACKGROUND: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is popular. Parents of children suffering from epilepsy may also consider administering CAM to their children. Systematic data about frequency of and motivations for CAM use, however, are scarce. METHODS: In a university hospital's neuropaediatric department parents of patients aged 0-18 years suffering from epilepsy were consecutively invited to take part in a structured interview during 4 months in 2014. RESULTS: Of the invited parents, 164/165 (99%) agreed to participate. From those, 21/164 (13%) stated that they used CAM in their child. The highest independent predictive value of CAM use was the occurrence of adverse drug events (ADE) of anticonvulsants as judged by parents. Patients affected by ADE had a 5.6 higher chance of receiving CAM compared to patients without ADE. Most commonly used were homeopathy (14/21, 67%) and osteopathy (12/21, 57%). The internet was the most frequently used source of information (14/21, 67%). Of the parents, 10/21 (48%) described positive effects of CAM on seizure frequency, 12/21 (57%) on general condition of their child, and 20/21 (95%) wished to continue CAM for epilepsy therapy. From the non-users of CAM, 91/143 (66%) expressed the desire to learn more about CAM for epilepsy therapy. LIMITATIONS: Our study was performed in a university hospital in a large urban city in Eastern Germany. CAM user rates can differ in other parts of Germany and Europe, in other institutions and for chronic diseases other than epilepsy. CONCLUSION: The main reason for CAM use was the occurrence of ADE of anticonvulsants. More than half of the parents saw a benefit of CAM for their children. Almost all parents wished to continue CAM use, even those who did not see concrete positive effects.

Complementary Therapies/statistics & numerical data , Epilepsy/therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Anticonvulsants/adverse effects , Child , Child, Preschool , Complementary Therapies/economics , Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions/epidemiology , Epilepsy/economics , Epilepsy/epidemiology , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Homeopathy/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Osteopathic Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Parents , Patient Satisfaction , Physician-Patient Relations , Prevalence , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires