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Study: Up to Two-Thirds of Children with ADHD Have Used Alternative Therapies

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August 4, 2022Up to two-thirds of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to address their symptoms, according to a new study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders.Nutrition modifications; natural products, such as herbs, vitamins, and minerals; and mind-body practices like mindful meditation were the most-reported CAMs.

The use of alternative therapies was higher in families where the caregiver preferred natural therapies for ADHD and believed CAMs could synergistically boost conventional medicine.1In addition, researchers found two predictive factors for alternative therapy use: parents’ education level (the more educated the parents, the more likely alternative therapies were used) and female gender.“It seems that parents with higher education are open-minded,” the researchers wrote. “Additionally, they usually try Internet sources, books, and even magazines and other information sources to treat their children.”The study found that more females opted for complementary and alternative medicine than males. “One of the most important reasons for the higher CAM use in patients of the female gender is the fact that they usually employ more health services than males,” researchers said.2For the study, researchers reviewed The Web of Science Core Collection, PubMed, and Scopus databases from inception to February 10, 2022, for reports of complementary and alternative medicine usage by patients with ADHD.

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