The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    CAM use among US adolescents

    Prof. Ernst sees encouraging evidence for some treatments.

    But does it matter?

    First, the details.

    • 17 systematic reviews were included in this overview.
    • The authors evaluated the evidence for or against the effectiveness of CAM for any childhood condition.
    • Treatments included:
      • Acupuncture
      • Chiropractic
      • Herbal medicine
      • Homeopathy
      • Hypnotherapy
      • Massage
      • Yoga

    And, the results.

    • Results were unconvincing for most conditions.
    • Some evidence suggests the following.
      • Acupuncture may be effective for postoperative nausea and vomiting.
      • Hypnotherapy may be effective in reducing procedure-related pain.
    • Most of the reviews failed to mention the incidence of side effects of CAM.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “There is some encouraging evidence for hypnosis, herbal medicine, and acupuncture.” But there’s “insufficient evidence to suggest that other CAMs are effective for the treatment of childhood conditions.”

    Overall, Prof. Ernst states that poor quality studies hamper the ability to properly evaluate CAM options for treating childhood conditions.

    Fair enough. But that’s not stopping adolescents from using CAM, which is estimated to be about approximately 12% of children in the US.

    Researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston created a profile of US adolescent (less than 18 years old) CAM users.

    • CAM use more likely among adolescents than infants or toddlers
    • Live in the West, Northeast, or Midwest, rather than in the South
    • Parents have a college education
    • More likely to use prescription medication
    • More likely to have anxiety or stress, dermatologic conditions, musculoskeletal conditions, and sinusitis
    • Use of CAM by a parent was strongly associated with the child’s use of CAM.

    7/8/10 18:32 JR

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