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Adolescents' Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Identifier:
First received: March 27, 2002
Last updated: August 17, 2006
Last verified: July 2006
The purpose of this study is to help improve our understanding of when and why adolescents decide to use alternative and complimentary medicines, and to understand factors that lead to better communication between youth and their clinicians.


Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Allocation: Random Sample
Observational Model: Natural History
Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional
Time Perspective: Retrospective
Official Title: Adolescents' Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Further study details as provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):

Estimated Enrollment: 1400
Study Start Date: February 2001
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2003
Detailed Description:
Alternative therapies and herbal remedies are increasingly recognized as having therapeutic value, and as many as 42% adults use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The prevalence of CAM use among adolescents is not known. Questions remain about the safety and efficacy of some CAM therapies, and how to best facilitate communication about alternative medicine between patients and clinicians. Research with adults shows that most do not reveal their use of alternative therapies to their providers. Adolescence is a time of experimentation and the beginning of a shift from depending upon parents to taking responsibility for one's own care. Thus, the health practices begun in adolescence have an impact into adulthood. However, none of the current guidelines for the provision of care to adolescents advise asking about complementary or alternative medicine use. Finally, adolescents are exposed to increasing coverage of CAM in the media, and on the internet. The specific aims of this study are to: 1) determine the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine use among a representative sample of adolescents, 2) describe the range of therapies adolescents use, and where they are procured, 3) describe adolescent and clinician factors that are associated with communication between adolescents and their providers about complementary and alternative medicine, and 4) describe adolescents' exposure to information about CAM from sources such as parents, providers, and the media, and how this impacts CAM use. We propose a cross sectional random digit dial telephone survey of 1200 adolescents in Monroe County, NY. Our findings will allow us to understand how adolescents use alternative medicine. Additionally, since alternative therapies can have potentially serious side-effects or drug interactions, insight into how and when alternative medicine use is disclosed may help clinicians provide better care to adolescents.

Ages Eligible for Study:   14 Years to 19 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Adolescents ages 14-19
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00032656

United States, New York
University of Rochester Department of Pediatrics
Rochester, New York, United States, 14642
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH University of Rochester
  More Information Identifier: NCT00032656     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R21AT000407-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: March 27, 2002
Last Updated: August 17, 2006

Keywords provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):
Alternative and complimentary medication use
Health services utilization
Quality of care processed this record on July 21, 2017