Background and aims The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) has increased over the recent years.
The use of CAM in children is strongly associated with the parent use of CAM and with parent’s perception of disease control in their children. The parent’s perception regarding the use of CAM among their children was studied.
Methods A cross sectional study was carried out over 12 months, among parents attending Parent-Teachers meeting in selected schools in Ajman, UAE. A self administered validated, pilot tested questionnaire was used as a tool. Descriptive and inferential statistics performed using SPSS-20 and p value <0.05 considered significant.
Results A total of 136 parents participated, females [67%], age below 40 years [54%], Non-Arabs [65%], holding Diploma/ Bachelor or higher degree [76%], and having ≤2 children [61%]. About 54% of parents used CAM for their children. Concerning safety of using CAM in children, 79.3% of parents believed it was safe (89% of CAM user Vs 28.5% of CAM non-user, p < 0.001). 51.7% of the respondents considered use of CAM along with conventional medicine to be safe in children (56.2% of CAM user Vs 28.5% of CAM non-user, p = 0.06). Most frequent source of information regarding CAM for both CAM user and CAM non-user parents was family. The most frequent reason for not using CAM was the belief that modern medicine is more effective.
Conclusions The perception of parents regarding CAM use in children differed between parents who used CAM in their children compared to those who did not.
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