Alternative Medicine Doesn't Affect Asthma Care in Children

Pediatric asthma patients have high med adherence regardless of alternative medicine

TUESDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is not associated with adherence to pediatric asthma treatment, according to a study published online April 9 in Pediatrics.

Julie C. Philp, M.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues analyzed telephone survey responses from caregivers of 1,322 pediatric asthma patients. The previously validated Medication Adherence Scale score was used with a score range of four to 20, with lower scores reflecting higher adherence.

The researchers focused on 187 children prescribed daily medications for all three years of the study. Overall, they found that patients had high rates of adherence, with 7.7 percent as the mean percent of missed daily controller medication doses per week. The mean Medication Adherence Scale score was 7.5. Use of CAM was not associated with subsequent adherence when controlling for demographic factors and asthma severity.

"The data from this study suggest that CAM use is not necessarily 'competitive' with conventional asthma therapies; families may incorporate different health belief systems simultaneously in their asthma management," the authors conclude. "As CAM use becomes more prevalent, it is important for physicians to ask about CAM use in a nonjudgmental fashion."

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