European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 170, Issue 5, pp 619–624 | Cite as

Attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine: a national survey among paediatricians in the Netherlands

  • Arine M. VliegerEmail author
  • Marja van Vliet
  • Miek C. Jong
Original Paper


The purpose of the present survey was to assess attitudes, beliefs, experience, referral patterns and desire for education regarding complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies of paediatricians in the Netherlands. In 2009, the link to an anonymous, self-reporting, 30-item web-based questionnaire was mailed to all members of the Dutch Association of Paediatrics. The questionnaire included questions about demographics and practice characteristics, use of CAM by the paediatrician and/or his family, attitudes towards and knowledge of CAM, and inquiries about CAM use in their practice. A total of 343 (24%) paediatricians responded to the survey: 39% had used some kind of CAM therapy themselves during the past 2 years, of which supplements (64%) and herbal and/or homeopathic remedies (30%) were most frequently mentioned. The majority of the paediatricians (62%) seldom asked parents of patients about CAM use. Referrals to CAM doctors were made by approximately 30% of the paediatricians. In general, more than 50% of the surveyed paediatricians had little knowledge of CAM therapies. Predictors for a positive attitude towards CAM were own CAM use (p < 0.0001), age >45 years (p = 0.02) and perceived knowledge level of CAM (p < 0.005). In conclusion, a significant group of Dutch paediatricians has a positive attitude towards CAM and refers patients to CAM therapies. The majority of paediatricians, however, do not ask patients about CAM use and seem to lack sufficient knowledge on CAM.


Complementary medicine Alternative medicine Attitude paediatricians 


Conflicts of interest

No funding was provided for this study. None of the authors declare any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arine M. Vlieger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marja van Vliet
    • 2
  • Miek C. Jong
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsSt. Antonius HospitalNieuwegeinThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department Healthcare and NutritionLouis Bolk InstituteDriebergenThe Netherlands

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