In this article we examine decision-making about complementary and alternative medicine use when the patient is an adolescent. A case scenario describes patient-parent conflict when a 14-year-old boy who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis that has continued to progress even with medication refuses recommended surgery despite his physician's and parents' support for that option; he prefers homeopathy instead. We address (1) who has decision-making authority about treatment for young people, (2) how to determine if a young person can consent to or refuse treatment, (3) special considerations when counseling and treating adolescents (whether they can decide about treatment for themselves), and (4) parent-child conflicts about treatment. In addition, we suggest ways that health care providers can foster a trusting relationship with patients and parents.
Treating Teens: Considerations When Adolescents Want to Use Complementary and Alternative Medicine
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors have indicated they have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.
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Joan Gilmour, Christine Harrison, Leyla Asadi, Michael H. Cohen, Sunita Vohra; Treating Teens: Considerations When Adolescents Want to Use Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Pediatrics November 2011; 128 (Supplement_4): S161–S166. 10.1542/peds.2010-2720D
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