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Caregivers’ knowledge and acceptance of complementary and alternative medicine in a tertiary care pediatric hospital

Authors Trifa M, Tumin D, Walia H, Lemanek KL, Tobias JD, Bhalla T

Received 9 November 2017

Accepted for publication 11 January 2018

Published 1 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 465—471

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S156585

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Erica Wegrzyn


Mehdi Trifa,1,2 Dmitry Tumin,1,3 Hina Walia,1 Kathleen L Lemanek,4 Joseph D Tobias,1,3 Tarun Bhalla1,3

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA; 2Faculty of Medicine, University of Tunis El Manar, Tunis, Tunisia; 3Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA; 4Department of Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA

Background: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies has increased in children, especially in those with chronic health conditions. However, this increase may not translate into acceptance of CAM in the perioperative setting. We surveyed caregivers of patients undergoing surgery to determine their knowledge and acceptance of hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and music therapy as alternatives to standard medication in the perioperative period.
Materials and methods: An anonymous, 12-question survey was administered to caregivers of children undergoing procedures under general anesthesia. Caregivers reported their knowledge about hypnotherapy, music therapy, and acupuncture and interest in one of these methods during the perioperative period. CAM acceptance was defined as interest in one or more CAM methods.
Results: Data from 164 caregivers were analyzed. The majority of caregivers were 20–40 years of age (68%) and mothers of the patient (82%). Caregivers were most familiar with acupuncture (70%), followed by music therapy (60%) and hypnotherapy (38%). Overall CAM acceptance was 51%. The acceptance of specific CAM modalities was highest for music therapy (50%), followed by hypnotherapy (17%) and acupuncture (13%). In multivariable logistic regression, familiarity with music therapy was associated with greater odds of CAM acceptance (odds ratio=3.36; 95% CI: 1.46, 7.74; P=0.004).
Conclusion: Overall CAM acceptance among caregivers of children undergoing surgery was 51%, with music therapy being the most accepted CAM method. Familiarity with music therapy was the only factor that was independently associated with accepting CAM in the perioperative period. The low acceptance for acupuncture and hypnosis in the perioperative situation may be related to insufficient parental knowledge and information.

Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine, perioperative, children, caregiver, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, music therapy

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