A cross-sectional review of the prevalence of integrative medicine in pediatric pain clinics across the United States

UMMS Affiliation

Center for Integrated Primary Care; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Behavioral Medicine | Health Psychology | Health Services Administration | Integrative Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies | Pain Management | Pediatrics | Primary Care | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychological Phenomena and Processes


PURPOSE: This project assesses the prevalence of integrative medicine (IM) in pediatric pain clinics (PPCs) across the United States.

METHODS: PPCs were identified through the American Pain Society and cross referenced through the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). A cross-sectional review using each PPC's website was then utilized for further information. We collected data regarding each program's target population, non-profit status (where non-profits were designated as hospitals that do not operate for-profit purpose, and private as institutions receiving private funding), location, services provided and participating providers. Descriptive statistics were used for data analysis.

RESULTS: Of the 53 PPCs identified, 43 (81%) were part of a non-profit healthcare organization, and 10 (19%) were within a private hospital; 85% were located in urban settings, 15% in rural settings; 83% were located in free-standing children's hospitals. Thirty-two (60%) PPCs utilized IM, including acupuncture (38%), mind-body (21%), massage (21%), aromatherapy (19%), nutrition counseling (17%) and/or art/music therapy (11%). The most prevalent providers within PPCs offering IM were yoga instructors (84%), nutritionists (56%) and mind-body specialists (44%). IM was offered in 63% of programs in non-profit organizations and 50% in private hospitals; 58% of urban sites and 75% of rural sites. Within each region, 91% (n=10) of PPCs in the West offer IM, 53% of PPCs in the Midwest (n=10) and Northeast (n=8) offer IM and 50% (n=4) of PPCs in the South offer IM compared to PPCs who do not.

CONCLUSIONS: Of 53 current identified PPCs, over half offer IM services. While children in the US are more likely to find a PPC offering IM services, access to do so is more limited in rural and southern regions.


Chronic pain programs, Integrative medicine, Pediatric chronic pain, Pediatric pain clinics, Prevalence

DOI of Published Version



Complement Ther Med. 2018 Jun;38:79-84. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2018.05.001. Epub 2018 May 4. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Complementary therapies in medicine


At the time of publication, Paula Gardiner was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID