Pursuit of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments in Adolescents With Cerebral Palsy
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This study determined the extent to which parents of adolescents with cerebral palsy seek out complementary and alternative medicine services. A regional sample of 166 adolescents (15.5 ± 2.4 years) with cerebral palsy were recruited. Parents completed a questionnaire identifying the complementary and alternative medicine services received over the past year. Most (73.2%) did not currently utilize any of the listed services; 7.3% used 2 or more services. The most commonly used services were massage (15.4%), hyperbaric oxygen (9.6%), and osteopathy (5.7%). Youth with limited hand function were more likely (P = .01) to undergo hyperbaric oxygen. Massage therapy services were more frequent in youth with greater activity limitations (P < .005). Sociodemographic factors were not predictive of use. Approximately one quarter of families sought out these services for their adolescents with cerebral palsy. Many are expensive privately funded treatments. Physicians should openly discuss these options with families, highlighting the current state of knowledge on their efficacy.
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