Integrative pediatric care: Parents' attitudes toward communication of physicians and CAM practitioners

Eran Ben-Arye, Zina Traube, Leora Schachter, Motti Haimi, Moti Levy, Elad Schiff, Efraim Lev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: In this study, we explored parents' perspectives toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by their children and its impact on parent-doctor and doctor - CAM-practitioner communication. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We designed a 2-arm study of parents who approached either conventional primary care or CAM clinics with their children to consult physicians or practitioners regarding their child's health. RESULTS: A total of 599 parents responded to our questionnaire (319 in 5 conventional clinics [83.9% response rate] and 280 in 21 CAM clinics [71.2% response rate]). Parents in conventional clinics reported less use of CAM by their children within the previous year (35.3% vs 73.7%; P < .0001) but used more traditional and homemade remedies (46.4% vs 12.7%; P < .0001). Both parent groups largely supported informing their child's physician regarding CAM use and expected the physician to initiate a CAM - related conversation and to refer their child to a CAM practitioner. The 2 groups' respondents largely supported communication between the child's physician and the CAM practitioner by the use of a referral/medical letter. Compared with respondents in CAM clinics, parents in conventional clinics were more supportive of CAM integration in a pediatric primary care setting and envisioned a more dominant role of physicians regarding CAM referral and a significant role of physicians in providing CAM. CONCLUSIONS: Parents who are referred to conventional and CAM clinics express distinctive attitudes toward CAM integration in pediatric care. Parents perceive physician - CAM practitioner communication as highly important and instrumental in promoting their children's health and safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-95
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Complementary medicine
  • Doctor-patient communication
  • Integrative medicine
  • Pediatric care
  • Primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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