Use of complementary and alternative medicine in children with autism and other developmental disabilities: Associations with ethnicity, child comorbid symptoms, and parental stress

Maria Valicenti-Mcdermott, Bethany Burrows, Leora Bernstein, Kathryn Hottinger, Katharine Lawson, Rosa Seijo, Merryl Schechtman, Lisa Shulman, Shlomo Shinnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use of complementary and alternative medicine by children with autism and the association of its use with child comorbid symptoms and parental stress was studied in an ethnically diverse population, in a cross-sectional study with structured interviews. The sample included 50 families of children with autism and 50 families of children with other developmental disabilities, matched by age/gender. Interview included the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire, Gastrointestinal Questionnaire, Children's Sleep Habits Questionnaire, Aberrant Behavior Checklist, and Parenting Stress Index. In this ethnically diverse sample, the use of complementary and alternative medicine was significantly higher for the autism group. In the autism group, use was significantly related to child's irritability, hyperactivity, food allergies, and parental stress; in the developmental disabilities group, there was no association with child comorbid symptoms or parental stress. The results contribute information to health care providers about families of children with autism who are more likely to use complementary and alternative medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-367
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

Keywords

  • autism spectrum disorder
  • complementary and alternative medicine
  • developmental disabilities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology

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