Research: Sawni A and Thomas R,

Listed in Issue 155


Sawni A and  Thomas R, Department of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201-2119, USA assessed Paediatricians' attitudes toward and practice of Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) including their knowledge, experience and referral patterns for CAM therapies.



An anonymous, self-report, 27-item questionnaire was mailed nationally to fellows of the American Academy of Pediatrics in July 2004. A total of 648 of 3500 Paediatricians surveyed responded (18%).


The median age ranged from 46-59 yrs; 52% female, 81% Caucasian, 71% generalists and 85% trained in the US. Over 96% of Paediatricians responding believed their patients were using CAM. Discussions of CAM use were initiated by the family (70%) and only 37% of paediatricians asked about CAM use as part of routine medical history. A majority (84%) said more Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses should be offered on CAM, and 71% said they would consider referring patients to CAM practitioners. Medical conditions referred for CAM included: chronic problems (headaches, pain management, asthma, backaches) (86%), diseases with no known cure (55.5%) or failure of conventional therapies (56%), behavioural problems (49%), and psychiatric disorders (47%). American born, US medical school graduates, general Paediatricians, and Paediatricians who ask/talk about CAM were most likely to believe their patients used CAM (P < 0.01).


Paediatricians have a positive attitude towards CAM. A majority believe that their patients are using CAM, that asking about CAM should be part of routine medical history, would consider referring to a CAM practitioner and want more education on


Sawni A and  Thomas R. Pediatricians' attitudes, experience and referral patterns regarding Complementary/Alternative Medicine: a national survey. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 7:18. 2007.

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