Parent-reported complementary and alternative medicine use among pediatric patients with epilepsy at two tertiary centers in Turkey – Prevalence and predictors

İnce T., İnce G., Üzüm Ö., Aydın A.

Epilepsy and Behavior, vol.143, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 143
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2023.109226
  • Journal Name: Epilepsy and Behavior
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Keywords: Antiseizure medication, Comorbidities, Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), Epilepsy
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) consists of various medical practices and products not recognized as a part of conventional medicine. There are few studies on CAMs used for childhood epilepsy. We aimed to determine the prevalence and socio-demographic factors affecting CAM use in children with epilepsy. Methods: This is a cross-sectional prospective descriptive study. The study included all parents who agreed to participate and had children with epilepsy. The data was collected using a questionnaire developed from a literature review of CAM use in pediatric epilepsy patients. Results: A total of 219 parent–child pairs were included in the study. Seventy-five participants had one or more comorbid disorders. 55.3% of participating children with epilepsy were taking more than one antiseizure medication (ASM). 30.1% of parents reported using some form of CAM for their children in the previous year. Only 60.6% of parents discussed their CAM decision with their child's doctor before using it. Univariate analysis showed that the patient's age, presence of comorbid disorders, duration of ASM, and family history of epilepsy were statistically significant predictors for CAM use. However, the presence of comorbidities was the only significant predictor of CAM use in logistic regression. Conclusion: Even though most parents believe CAMs have no effect on their children with epilepsy, they frequently use them. We propose that the predictors identified in this study can help to identify potential CAM users. Since most parents do not report the use of CAM, physicians should routinely inquire about CAM use.