Food Habits, Stressors, and Use of Complementary Medicine Therapies Among Pediatric Patients Who Attend an Integrative Medicine Pediatric Pain Clinic
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Center for Integrated Primary Care
Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Integrative Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Pain Management | Pediatrics | Psychiatry and Psychology
Purpose: Chronic pain is a growing problem among children and adolescents, and is more prevalent in low-income families. This observational study was conducted to describe the demographics and various descriptors, complementary medicine therapy (CMT) use, and lifestyle factors (i.e., food habits and supplement use) of pediatric patients with chronic pain.
Methods: Boston Medical Center's Interdisciplinary Pediatric Pain Clinic provides patient education and unique treatment plans, tailored with medical and nonpharmacologic interventions for managing complex and chronic pain. Patient data were obtained through electronic medical chart review and self-reported surveys, and were completed by participants and parents at enrollment.
Results: Of the 83 participants, the average age was 15.4 +/- 4.3, and 80% were female. Referrals to the clinic were due to abdominal pain (52%), headache (23%), and musculoskeletal or other pain (25%). Thirty-one percent were on food assistance programs, with only 24% of patients currently using CMTs and 85% using pain medications. More than half of all participants (63%) missed up to 5 days of school in the past year, while 26% missed more than 6 days. School or academics (77%) were the most frequently self-reported stressor, followed by social/peer issues (39%), bullying (18%), and parental stress (18%). A very small proportion of patients had sufficient intake of dairy (12%), water (23%), vegetables (1%), and fruits (22%).
Conclusion: Chronic pain can significantly affect lifestyle factors, stress, and child development. Patients evaluated at the clinic had poor diets and report having stressors regarding school, social/peer issues, parental stress, and bullying.
chronic pain, dietary habits, integrative medicine, pediatrics, stress
DOI of Published Version
Mehta V, D'Amico S, Luo M, Bodner K, Goldstein L, Neri C, Gardiner P. Food Habits, Stressors, and Use of Complementary Medicine Therapies Among Pediatric Patients Who Attend an Integrative Medicine Pediatric Pain Clinic. J Altern Complement Med. 2020 Aug;26(8):691-700. doi: 10.1089/acm.2019.0253. Epub 2020 Jul 7. PMID: 32640830. Link to article on publisher's site
Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)
Mehta V, D'Amico S, Luo M, Bodner K, Goldstein L, Neri C, Gardiner P. (2020). Food Habits, Stressors, and Use of Complementary Medicine Therapies Among Pediatric Patients Who Attend an Integrative Medicine Pediatric Pain Clinic. University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2019.0253. Retrieved from https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/faculty_pubs/1795