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Prevalence of complementary medicine use in pediatric cancer: a systematic review

Prevalence of complementary medicine use in pediatric cancer: a systematic review
Prevalence of complementary medicine use in pediatric cancer: a systematic review
Context:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is used by pediatric patients with cancer, but the actual frequency of CAM use is undetermined.

Objective:

In this systematic review we summarize the current evidence on the prevalence of CAM use in pediatric patients with cancer and assess the reported quality of included studies.

Methods:

We systematically searched 6 major electronic databases, reference lists of existing reviews, and personal files. We included full articles about primary research studies (without language restriction) that reported the prevalence of CAM use if all or a defined subsample of participants were pediatric patients with cancer.

Detailed information regarding methods and results was extracted from the original articles. A quality-assessment tool was rigorously developed on the basis of the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement and used to assess reported study quality. Formal tests of interrater agreement were conducted.

Results:

We included 28 studies with survey data (collected from 1975 to 2005) from 3526 children. In 20 studies with 2871 participants, the prevalence of any CAM use (since cancer diagnosis) ranged from 6% to 91%; considerable heterogeneity across studies precluded meta-analysis. Study quality was mixed and not correlated with CAM prevalence. Herbal remedies were the most popular CAM modality, followed by diets/nutrition and faith-healing. Commonly reported reasons for CAM use included to help cure or fight the child's cancer, symptomatic relief, and support of ongoing use of conventional therapy. There was little evidence of an association between CAM use and patients' sociodemographic characteristics.

Conclusions:

Many pediatric patients with cancer use CAM. It is important that pediatricians be aware of this fact and encourage open communication with patients and their parents. Using standardized survey methods and CAM definitions in future studies could improve their quality and help generate comparable data. Our quality-assessment tool could prove valuable for other reviews of prevalence studies.
CAM use, pediatric cancer, systematic review, complementary therapies, pediatrics
0031-4005
768-776
Bishop, Felicity L.
1f5429c5-325f-4ac4-aae3-6ba85d079928
Prescott, Philip
cf0adfdd-989b-4f15-9e60-ef85eed817b2
Chan, Yean Koon
d2fa4c4e-4b99-4420-9389-99580148a781
Saville, Jemma
4a5435f5-5373-4d8e-b4fa-37777f0247d8
Elm, Erik von
72881c0d-41d9-4588-891d-e7ebf722bef4
Lewith, George T.
0fc483fa-f17b-47c5-94d9-5c15e65a7625
Bishop, Felicity L.
1f5429c5-325f-4ac4-aae3-6ba85d079928
Prescott, Philip
cf0adfdd-989b-4f15-9e60-ef85eed817b2
Chan, Yean Koon
d2fa4c4e-4b99-4420-9389-99580148a781
Saville, Jemma
4a5435f5-5373-4d8e-b4fa-37777f0247d8
Elm, Erik von
72881c0d-41d9-4588-891d-e7ebf722bef4
Lewith, George T.
0fc483fa-f17b-47c5-94d9-5c15e65a7625

Bishop, Felicity L., Prescott, Philip, Chan, Yean Koon, Saville, Jemma, Elm, Erik von and Lewith, George T. (2010) Prevalence of complementary medicine use in pediatric cancer: a systematic review. Pediatrics, 125 (4), 768-776. (doi:10.1542/peds.2009-1775).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Context:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is used by pediatric patients with cancer, but the actual frequency of CAM use is undetermined.

Objective:

In this systematic review we summarize the current evidence on the prevalence of CAM use in pediatric patients with cancer and assess the reported quality of included studies.

Methods:

We systematically searched 6 major electronic databases, reference lists of existing reviews, and personal files. We included full articles about primary research studies (without language restriction) that reported the prevalence of CAM use if all or a defined subsample of participants were pediatric patients with cancer.

Detailed information regarding methods and results was extracted from the original articles. A quality-assessment tool was rigorously developed on the basis of the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement and used to assess reported study quality. Formal tests of interrater agreement were conducted.

Results:

We included 28 studies with survey data (collected from 1975 to 2005) from 3526 children. In 20 studies with 2871 participants, the prevalence of any CAM use (since cancer diagnosis) ranged from 6% to 91%; considerable heterogeneity across studies precluded meta-analysis. Study quality was mixed and not correlated with CAM prevalence. Herbal remedies were the most popular CAM modality, followed by diets/nutrition and faith-healing. Commonly reported reasons for CAM use included to help cure or fight the child's cancer, symptomatic relief, and support of ongoing use of conventional therapy. There was little evidence of an association between CAM use and patients' sociodemographic characteristics.

Conclusions:

Many pediatric patients with cancer use CAM. It is important that pediatricians be aware of this fact and encourage open communication with patients and their parents. Using standardized survey methods and CAM definitions in future studies could improve their quality and help generate comparable data. Our quality-assessment tool could prove valuable for other reviews of prevalence studies.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 22 March 2010
Keywords: CAM use, pediatric cancer, systematic review, complementary therapies, pediatrics
Organisations: Community Clinical Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 143643
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/143643
ISSN: 0031-4005
PURE UUID: cee2981a-550b-4b0b-a734-96bad979bbe5
ORCID for Felicity L. Bishop: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8737-6662

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Apr 2010 14:31
Last modified: 07 Aug 2019 00:44

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