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P319 Attitude towards paediatric use of natural medicines: a cross-country survey conducted in general paediatrics
  1. MP Riveros Huckstadt1,
  2. AM Beer2,
  3. I Burlaka3,
  4. S Buskin4,
  5. B Kamenov5,
  6. A Pettenazzo6,
  7. D Popova7,
  8. V Sakalinskas8,
  9. Oberbaum M9
  1. 1Pediatra AP, Servicio Andaluz de Salud, Mijas Costa, Malaga, Spain
  2. 2Blankenstein Hospital, Dept of Naturopathy, Hattingen, Germany
  3. 3National Bogomolets Medical University, Dept of Paediatrics N
  4. 4Bogomolets, Ukraine 4.International Health Centre, The Hague, Netherlands
  5. 5Medical Faculty University in Nis, Clinical Centre, Nis, Serbia
  6. 6University of Padua, Dept of Paediatrics, Padua, Italy
  7. 7University Hospital ‘Tsaritsa Yoana’, Dept of Otorhinolaryngology-Audiology and Otoneurology, Sofia, Bulgaria
  8. 8Vilnius University Children Hospital, Paediatrics, Vilnius, Lithuania
  9. 9The Centre for Integrative Complementary Medicine Shaare Zedek Medical Center- Jerusalem- Israel, Integrative Complementary Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel

Abstract

Background and aims The use of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) in paediatrics is high, although a variability of usage frequency between countries is reported, depending on data collection methods and type of CAM. The aim of this survey was to look into physicians’ approaches towards paediatric use of natural medicines, by a consistent study approach in a multi-country survey.

Methods On-line survey involving 582 general paediatricians and general practioners treating paediatric patients in 6 countries. The study was sponsored by DHU-Arzneimittel GmbH and Co. KG.

Results 99% of respondents recommended natural medicines (Phytotherapy or vitamins/minerals/supplements, VSM) in the previous year. Natural medicines were used as a complement to conventional treatment in most of patients.

The most frequently treated conditions were: upper respiratory tract infections (51%), allergies (22%), acute abdominal problems (22%), recurrent infections (22%), earache (17%) and infant colic (15%).

Here we give summarised data about the trends in natural remedies prescriptions by paediatricians. In the case of a 2 month old infant with recurrent colic 80% of physicians advised dietary changes. Conventional drugs were as frequently recommended as phytotherapy or homeopathy. The therapy of choice was probiotics. For a 2 year old child with teething problems, homeopathy was advised by 30% of physicians, while only 25% recommended conventional drugs. For a 5 year old child with recurrent upper respiratory tract infections the most frequent recommendations were conventional drugs, dietary advice and vitamins. Personal use of natural medicines corresponded to physicians´ predisposition to recommend natural treatments for their paediatric patients. Nearly half of the physicians were extremely interested in phytotherapy for paediatric conditions.

Conclusions This survey confirms that physicians have a high interest in using natural medicines in paediatrics. Natural medicines were most often prescribed alongside conventional drugs. There is evidence of a variable level of knowledge about natural medicine options. There were significant country differences showing a cultural influence on physicians’ decisions.

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