(NaturalNews) Ninety percent of parents would like to know more about alternative medical approaches for their children, according to a survey conducted by Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota (Children's), a nationwide leader in integrative medical approaches.
Integrative medicine combines traditional Western medicine with medical therapies from other traditions, including acupuncture, massage and nutrition.
The survey also found that 90 percent of parents have a strong desire to eliminate their children's pain and improve their quality of life, while 85 percent would like to minimize their dependence on drugs. Parents felt especially strongly about reducing drug treatment for mood or behavioral problems such as anxiety or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sixty-eight percent of parents believed that integrative treatment could be effective, and more than 75 percent said that hospitals should offer experts on both conventional and alternative treatments.
Yet only 12 percent of parents surveyed had ever spoken to their child's doctor about the possibility of alternative or integrative medical treatments.
"Many children with chronic or acute health conditions seek a complementary or integrative approach only after they have exhausted all other conventional treatment options," said Timothy Culbert of Children's. "Parents should be aware that integrative medicine can be helpful from the onset of disease and can save time, money and most importantly, improve a child's quality of life. This is true for all kinds of conditions including acute illnesses like cancer or chronic problems like migraines or behavioral issues."
Among parents of children with serious health issues, 42 percent had more knowledge of integrative medicine than others in the survey. Yet nearly two-thirds had still never considered integrative medicine due to insufficient familiarity with the subject.
"Parents need to consult and work with their child's physician to determine what integrative medicine options are available that may be helpful," Culbert said. "There are so many different kinds of complementary therapies, it's important to learn about options to find an approach that will work best for each patient. I see first-hand every day the difference it can make in a child's life."
Ninety-five percent of parents whose children had undergone integrative treatment reported a positive experience.