Perception and Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Children and Adults with Epilepsy: The Importance of the Decision Makers
The aim of the current study was to assess the extent to which complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been used in children and adults to treat seizures and to compare the perceptions and usage of CAM between adult patients who decides for themselves and adults who decide for their sick children.In this cross-sectional study, patients who have been treated for epilepsy for at least one year at the outpatient epilepsy clinic at the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences were interviewed from January 2012 through March 2012. The questionnaire collected specific information of CAM perceptions and usage among patients. Pearson Chi-Square and Student's t-test were used to compare variables among children group with adults group. Ninety-eight children (their caregivers) and 158 adults (themselves) participated. Adult patients (53%) more frequently believed that CAM might be useful in treating seizures than adults with sick kids (35%) (P = 0.0004). Herbal drugs, traditional medicine and exercise were more often considered as being helpful in treating seizures among adult patients compared to adults with sick children. CAM usage was not different among adult patients compared to adults with sick kids (P = 0.3). CAM is an option considered by many people with epilepsy to treat seizures. The individual who makes the decision as to use any of these unconventional treatment options is probably not different when it comes to self (the patient himself) vs. non-self (the parents/care-givers), despite the observed difference that adult patients more frequently believed that CAM might be useful in treating seizures than adults with sick kids.
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