Choosing a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Provider

Researching and asking questions can help you make an informed decision when choosing a provider. It is important to know the answers to these questions before starting treatment with a CAM provider so you know what your responsibilities are and what to expect. Below are some suggestions of questions, and you will most likely have more of your own. Make sure to make a list of the ones that are important to you when meeting with the provider.
Examples of CAM Providers
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Hypnosis
  • Biofeedback
  • EEG Brain Mapping
  • Neurofeedback
  • Music therapy
  • Gut repair specialists (i.e. gluten free – casein free diet and supplements)

Before Choosing a CAM Provider

Research the Provider and Practice
  • Search for anything published by or about the doctor online
  • Ask other parents if they have experience with this provider
  • Speak with your child’s Primary Care Physician about the doctor/treatments you are considering for your child.

Questions to Ask

  • What is your specific experience as a CAM provider?
  • How long have you practiced this type of medicine or alternative treatment?
  • What are your credentials and licensure?
  • Do you have experience with a child whose diagnosis and abilities are similar to my child’s?
  • What are strategies or techniques you use in your practice that have evidence to support their effectiveness?
  • May I visit with you either in person or by phone to get to know you better before we set our first appointment?
  • How frequently are visits typically scheduled?
  • How long is the average office visit?
  • Will you need extra time for my child?
  • What will the physician do with my child during an office visit?
  • Do you take labs? Where do you send them? What are the responsibilities of my family?
  • How will you communicate and interact with the school or other services so we can coordinate care?
Assessment and Goal Setting
  • How will you assess my child before we begin visits?
  • What can we hope for / expect from these treatments?
  • What is your process for setting goals for my child? As my child gets older, how may treatment change?
  • How often will you assess and communicate my child’s progress to me?
  • Will you be able to see my child as an adult?
  • Are there any specific examples of why we would stop treatment?

Authors & Reviewers

Initial Publication: July 2015;
Current Authors and Reviewers (click on name for bio):
Authors: Jeanette Pascoe
Tina Persels