Wednesday, July 25, 2007

from Pediatrics Journal

Borrowed from Bastyr's site. I just can't bother to edit...


Study finds nearly one in six naturopathic doctors in Washington see pediatric patients

July 20, 2007 – (Kenmore, Washington) Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently published a study conducted by a research team at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington, titled "Frequency and Characteristics of Pediatric and Adolescent Visits in Naturopathic Medical Practice." The study found that pediatric care by most Naturopathic Doctors (NDs) is limited, however there is a group of children in Washington state for whom NDs are likely the sole health care provider. NDs are currently licensed to practice in 14 states, including Washington state, where they combine natural therapies and tools of modern science to provide holistic health and wellness solutions.

The study was conducted through a mailed survey of licensed naturopathic physicians residing in Washington state, and received a 50 percent response rate, with 251 of the 499 surveys returned to the research team. Among the 204 NDs surveyed who are currently practicing, only 15 percent saw more than five children per week, which accounted for 20 percent of their office practice. The most common reason for these visits included well-child care, infectious disease, and mental health conditions. Immunizations were provided during 18.6 percent of well-child visits by children under two years of age, and during 27.3 percent of visits by children between the ages of two and five years. "Our research indicates that some naturopathic physicians do provide immunizations to children, contrary to some previously published literature," says Wendy Weber, ND, MPH, the study's principal investigator and research associate professor at Bastyr University, the largest university for natural health arts and sciences in the United States that combines a multidisciplinary curriculum with leading edge research and clinical training.

"The study findings are significant because they indicate that pediatric naturopathic physicians may provide the majority of healthcare for some children," says Dr. Weber. "The results also demonstrate that pediatric naturopathic physicians see children for similar conditions as conventionally trained pediatricians."

Although NDs are licensed to prescribe antibiotics in Washington state, the study also found that no pediatric patients seen by an ND for upper respiratory infection symptoms were prescribed these medications. According to another recent study by James Taylor, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington, this is in contrast to the experience of children under three years of age, seen by pediatricians with similar symptoms, who were prescribed antibiotics during 46 percent of visits.

Dr. Weber and the Bastyr University research team will use information gathered from this study to develop and conduct future studies surrounding pediatric naturopathic care.

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