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J Korean Soc Pediatr Endocrinol Search


Ann Pediatr Endocrinol Metab > Volume 13(1); 2008 > Article
Status of Alternative Therapies Used by the Children Visiting the 'Growth Clinic'.
In Kug Bang, Hee Chul Choi, Hyun Jung Shin, Byung Kyu Choe, Heung Sik Kim
Department of Pediatrics, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea. kimhs@dsmc.or.kr
Although growth hormone treatment is now widely used to treat some group of children with short stature, it is still expensive and many parents are seeking alternative therapies. We report the current status of alternative therapies for children visiting the 'growth clinic' in a single tertiary center. METHODS: Questionnaire about the usage of alternative therapy was used. Parents were asked whether they used alternative therapies and where they achieved the information. Also, they were asked whether the treatment was effective, and whether they would continue to use the alternative therapy.
Two hundred and twenty nine children (127 boys, 102 girls) visiting the growth clinic in Dongsan Medical Center from February 2005 to January 2006 were analyzed. Their ages were between 6.1 years to 15.4 years (mean 10.4 years). Height Standard Deviation Score (SDS) were between -3.2 to 1.0 (mean -1.1). Twelve boys (9.4%) and 7 girls (6.9%) were more than zero in height SDS value. Among 145 children (63.3%) who used the alternative therapy, supplemental foods and oriental herbs were most widely used (43.3% each) followed by over-the-counter drugs. They attained the information most frequently from their neighbors followed by television, newspaper, and internet. More than half (57.9%) of the parents answered that the alternative therapies were not effective. However, 46.9% of the parents answered they would continuously use the therapy though it is ineffective.
Many patients visiting the 'growth clinic' for short stature had experiences on the alternative therapies. Although these therapies seemed not quite effective, many parents answered that they would continue alternative therapy.
Keywords: Short stature;Growth hormone;Alternative therapy


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