Prevalence and parental perceptions of complementary and alternative medicine use by children with cancer in a multi-ethnic southeast Asian population

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Abstract

Background. The purpose of the current study was to determine the prevalence of use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by children with cancer and to compare the characteristics of CAM users and CAM nonusers. Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed at a pediatric oncology center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The parents of 97 children with cancer were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Results. Overall, 84.5% of the respondents had used CAM, and most of them believed that CAM provided a boost to the immune system, and used CAM with the intention to complement conventional treatment. The most frequently used CAM was water therapy (78%), followed by spirulina (33%), vitamin C (27%), multivitamin (23%), visit to traditional healers (22%), sea cucumber (Stichopus horrens) (15%), and Chinese traditional medicine (12%). The Malay (n = 67) were using more often (93%) CAM than non-Malay (n = 30, use 67%, P = 0.001). Conclusions. CAM use is common among Malaysian children with cancer. Understanding the sociocultural dimension of patients' health beliefs is important to a successful treatment, and pediatric oncologists should ask for the use of CAM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

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Complementary Therapies
Population
Neoplasms
Stichopus
Sea Cucumbers
Spirulina
Pediatrics
Malaysia
Chinese Traditional Medicine

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Children
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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title = "Prevalence and parental perceptions of complementary and alternative medicine use by children with cancer in a multi-ethnic southeast Asian population",
abstract = "Background. The purpose of the current study was to determine the prevalence of use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by children with cancer and to compare the characteristics of CAM users and CAM nonusers. Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed at a pediatric oncology center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The parents of 97 children with cancer were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Results. Overall, 84.5{\%} of the respondents had used CAM, and most of them believed that CAM provided a boost to the immune system, and used CAM with the intention to complement conventional treatment. The most frequently used CAM was water therapy (78{\%}), followed by spirulina (33{\%}), vitamin C (27{\%}), multivitamin (23{\%}), visit to traditional healers (22{\%}), sea cucumber (Stichopus horrens) (15{\%}), and Chinese traditional medicine (12{\%}). The Malay (n = 67) were using more often (93{\%}) CAM than non-Malay (n = 30, use 67{\%}, P = 0.001). Conclusions. CAM use is common among Malaysian children with cancer. Understanding the sociocultural dimension of patients' health beliefs is important to a successful treatment, and pediatric oncologists should ask for the use of CAM.",
keywords = "Cancer, Children, Complementary and alternative medicine",
author = "Hamidah Alias and Rustam, {Zainudin A.} and {Mohd. Tamil}, Azmi and {Abdul Latiff}, Zarina and {Syed Zakaria}, {Syed Zulkifli} and {A. Jamal}, {A. Rahman}",
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T1 - Prevalence and parental perceptions of complementary and alternative medicine use by children with cancer in a multi-ethnic southeast Asian population

AU - Alias, Hamidah

AU - Rustam, Zainudin A.

AU - Mohd. Tamil, Azmi

AU - Abdul Latiff, Zarina

AU - Syed Zakaria, Syed Zulkifli

AU - A. Jamal, A. Rahman

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N2 - Background. The purpose of the current study was to determine the prevalence of use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by children with cancer and to compare the characteristics of CAM users and CAM nonusers. Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed at a pediatric oncology center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The parents of 97 children with cancer were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Results. Overall, 84.5% of the respondents had used CAM, and most of them believed that CAM provided a boost to the immune system, and used CAM with the intention to complement conventional treatment. The most frequently used CAM was water therapy (78%), followed by spirulina (33%), vitamin C (27%), multivitamin (23%), visit to traditional healers (22%), sea cucumber (Stichopus horrens) (15%), and Chinese traditional medicine (12%). The Malay (n = 67) were using more often (93%) CAM than non-Malay (n = 30, use 67%, P = 0.001). Conclusions. CAM use is common among Malaysian children with cancer. Understanding the sociocultural dimension of patients' health beliefs is important to a successful treatment, and pediatric oncologists should ask for the use of CAM.

AB - Background. The purpose of the current study was to determine the prevalence of use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by children with cancer and to compare the characteristics of CAM users and CAM nonusers. Methods. A cross-sectional study was performed at a pediatric oncology center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The parents of 97 children with cancer were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Results. Overall, 84.5% of the respondents had used CAM, and most of them believed that CAM provided a boost to the immune system, and used CAM with the intention to complement conventional treatment. The most frequently used CAM was water therapy (78%), followed by spirulina (33%), vitamin C (27%), multivitamin (23%), visit to traditional healers (22%), sea cucumber (Stichopus horrens) (15%), and Chinese traditional medicine (12%). The Malay (n = 67) were using more often (93%) CAM than non-Malay (n = 30, use 67%, P = 0.001). Conclusions. CAM use is common among Malaysian children with cancer. Understanding the sociocultural dimension of patients' health beliefs is important to a successful treatment, and pediatric oncologists should ask for the use of CAM.

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KW - Children

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