Complementary and alternative medicine utilisation for the management of acute respiratory tract infection in children: a systematic review

S. Lucas*, M. Leach, S. Kumar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction
As many as one in two children across the globe use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to manage a health condition. Despite the high prevalence of use, there is still limited information on the types of CAM used in children, particularly for the management of one of the most common childhood health complaints – acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI). This systematic review was undertaken to address this knowledge gap.

Methods
Eligible studies reporting the use of CAM in children with ARTI were identified using a targeted search of seven electronic databases and the grey literature. Data were extracted using a customised data extraction form and appraised using the McMaster critical review forms for quantitative and qualitative studies. Findings were synthesised in narrative form.

Results
The search identified 2261 papers, of which 22 studies were eligible for inclusion.

The 22 studies reported the use of 118 distinct CAM interventions for the management of ARTI in children. Most (53%, n = 63) of these interventions represented biologically-based therapies, followed by whole medical systems/alternative medical systems (46%, n = 55). No studies reported the use of energy therapies, or manipulative and body-based methods, or mind-body therapies.

Conclusion
A diverse range of CAM interventions are used in the management of ARTI in children. These interventions largely represent CAM use in the southern region of Asia – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Further research is needed to better understand the types of CAM used among children with ARTI in western countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-166
Number of pages9
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Volume37
Early online date3 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • children
  • complementary and alternative medicine
  • systematic review
  • respiratory tract infection
  • parents

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