Dietary modifications, nutritional supplements and alternative medicine in paediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease
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Background: Data on use of complementary and alternative medicine in children with inflammatory bowel disease are scarce. Aim: To assess prevalence, predictors and parental attitude to the use of complementary and alternative medicine in a paediatric population with inflammatory bowel disease in the west of Scotland. Methods: Questionnaire survey encompassing alternative therapists, nutritional supplements and dietary modifications used in the management of inflammatory bowel disease was used. Demographics, disease and treatment data were also collected. Results: 86 guardians completed the survey. 61% had used at least one type and 37% were using complementary and alternative medicine recently. The most common types were probiotics (44%) and dairy-free diet (28%). Higher parental education and young parental age were predictors of complementary and alternative medicine use. An increased number of oral steroid courses and prior use of complementary and alternative medicine for other health reasons were associated with use of alternative therapists. Personal recommendation and to complement conventional medicine were the main reasons for using complementary and alternative medicine. 48% judged complementary and alternative medicine at least partially effective. 86% agreed that doctors should be supportive of use. 89% would give complementary and alternative medicine to their children. Conclusions: Use of complementary and alternative medicine was higher in children with IBD than in adults with the same disease. The gastrointestinal nature of the disease could explain the high use of nutritional supplements and dietary modifications in this survey. © 2008 The Authors.
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