Research: VLIEGER and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 211

Abstract

VLIEGER and COLLEAGUES, Department of Paediatrics, St. Antonius Hospital, Koekoekslaan 1, 3435 CM Nieuwegein, The Netherlands. a.vlieger@antoniusziekenhuis.nl  surveyed paediatricians in the Netherlands their attitudes, beliefs, experience, referral patterns and desire for education regarding complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies.

Background

The purpose of the present survey was to assess attitudes, beliefs, experience, referral patterns and desire for education regarding complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies of paediatricians in the Netherlands.

Methodology

In 2009, the link to an anonymous, self-reporting, 30-item web-based questionnaire was mailed to all members of the Dutch Association of Paediatrics. The questionnaire included questions about demographics and practice characteristics, use of CAM by the paediatrician and/or his family, attitudes towards and knowledge of CAM, and inquiries about CAM use in their practice.

Results

A total of 343 (24%) paediatricians responded to the survey: 39% had used some kind of CAM therapy themselves during the past 2 years, of which supplements (64%) and herbal and/or homeopathic remedies (30%) were most frequently mentioned. The majority of the paediatricians (62%) seldom asked parents of patients about CAM use. Referrals to CAM doctors were made by approximately 30% of the paediatricians. In general, more than 50% of the surveyed paediatricians had little knowledge of CAM therapies. Predictors for a positive attitude towards CAM were own CAM use (p < 0.0001), age> 45 years (p = 0.02) and perceived knowledge level of CAM (p < 0.005).

Conclusion

In conclusion, a significant group of Dutch paediatricians has a positive attitude towards CAM and refers patients to CAM therapies. The majority of paediatricians, however, do not ask patients about CAM use and seem to lack sufficient knowledge on CAM.

References

Vlieger AM, van Vliet M and Jong MC. Attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine: a national survey among paediatricians in the Netherlands. European Journal of Pediatrics. 170(5): 619-24. May 2011.

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