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Use of Complementary Health for acute complaints in the emergency department

This study aimed to determine the prevalence of complementary health approaches (CHAs) specifically for acute complaints in patients assessed in a pediatric emergency department (ED) and factors associated with use (1). A cross-sectional survey was offered to patients between the age of 28 days and 18 years assessed at a tertiary pediatric ED. The results showed that of 475 potential participants, 412 (86.7%) participated, of which 369 (89.5%) completed the survey. Overall, 28.7% reported using any CHA for their child to treat the presenting complaint in the prior 72 hours to the ED visit. Gastrointestinal complaints had the highest use of CHA (46.3% of presentations endorsed use). The most common complementary health products used were vitamins and minerals; the most common complementary health practice used was massage. The authors conclude clinicians should consider the use and safety of CHA when evaluating children presenting to the ED with acute conditions.


(1) Kalaichandran A, et al. Use of Complementary Health Approaches for Acute Complaints Presenting to the Emergency Department. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2018;doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001424.