Complementary and alternative medicine use among pediatrics in Palestine: a cross-sectional study
Publication Type
Original research


Recent use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is growing in children worldwide, so there is a need to evaluate CAM’s use among pediatrics in Palestine. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of CAM use among a sample of Palestinian children, investigate the factors that affect the use of CAMs, identify the types of CAM used, and assess the purposes of using them.


A cross-sectional descriptive study of parents who had children aged 6 years and below was carried out. A convenient sample of about 420 participants was collected; from Primary care to Motherhood and Childhood Centers in Nablus city in Palestine. Parents who agreed to participate were asked to answer a survey that consists mainly of closed-ended questions. The analysis was performed using SPSS version 16.0.


The use of CAM was detected in all interviewers 420 (100%). The most common treatment used was herbal therapy (n = 400, 95.2%), and anise was the most common herbal therapy used (n = 334; 79.5%). A total of 371 (88.3%) of the respondents used CAM for digestive system problems. The main reason for using CAM was making the child more comfortable (n = 365; 86.9%). Parents who are 30 years or older were significantly using more CAM than younger parents (P = 0.001). In addition, regarding the number of children in the family, parents who have five children or more used more CAM subtypes significantly more than parents with less than this number (P = 0.025). Moreover, parents living in a refugee camp used more CAM than parents who lived in urban or rural areas (P = 0.031).


Parents of children use CAM frequently. All parents used CAM, and physicians were not mainly among the sources of CAM information, and almost all parents were unaware of the side effects of CAM. Future research is necessary to direct pediatricians in formulating recommendations for children on CAM modalities, including possible risks and benefits and interactions with conventional medications.

BMC Pediatrics volume
Springer Link
Publisher Country
Thomson Reuters
Impact Factor
Publication Type
Online only