National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
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Exploring Pediatric Research at the Recent Advisory Council Meeting

August 15, 2018
Wendy J. Weber, N.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Wendy Weber, N.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

Acting Deputy Director
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
View Dr. Weber's biographical sketch

A wide range of complementary and integrative health approaches are used by children, including botanicals and dietary supplements, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. Children are not small adults, however, and their bodies can react differently than adults to various therapies. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) recognizes the value of studying complementary approaches in the pediatric population, particularly in relation to our strategic objectives for managing pain conditions and fostering health promotion and disease prevention

As a step in exploring the opportunities and gaps in our Center’s research portfolio, we hosted a “Pediatric Complementary and Integrative Health” mini-symposium at the June 2018 meeting of the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Integrative Health (NACCIH).

  • I presented an overview of the NCCIH pediatric portfolio. 
  • Catherine Spong, M.D., Deputy Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, presented on efforts to better understand the experiences of women during pregnancy, including their use of botanicals and dietary supplements, in the new crowdsourcing project PregSource
  • Christina Bethell, Ph.D., Director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, shared statistics on use of complementary therapies among children in the United States. 
  • Susmita Kashikar-Zuck, Ph.D., Professor and Research Director at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, discussed research on nondrug approaches, such as cognitive behavioral therapy for recurrent and chronic pain conditions in childhood. 
  • Erica Sibinga, M.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, highlighted key themes and opportunities for future research. 

We encourage investigators to submit pediatric research applications using NCCIH’s available active funding opportunity announcements. Consider contacting a program director to discuss your research interests and get help selecting the appropriate funding opportunity.

We welcome you to view the presentations from the June meeting of the NCCIH advisory council and stay tuned as NCCIH continues to explore new research priorities.

Pediatric Complementary and Integrative Health

  David Shurtleff, Ph.D.

  Overview of Topics and Speakers
  Richard Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H. 

  NCCIH Pediatric Portfolio
  Wendy Weber, N.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

  Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and
  Human Development – Pediatrics and Alternative Therapies

  Catherine Spong, M.D.

  Use of Complementary and Integrative Approaches in Pediatrics –
  Pediatric Well-Being

  Christina Bethell, Ph.D.

  Behavioral Therapies for Managing Chronic Pediatric Pain

  Susmita Kashikar-Zuck, Ph.D.

  Discussion of Opportunities and Gaps
  Erica Sibinga, M.D., M.H.S., and NACCIH members


Comments are now closed for this post.

I am glad that alternative medicine is applied in the case of children.  Strong harsh drugs would have a detrimental effect on very young children.  I hope that extra Vitamin D-3 and folate are stressed early to expectant mothers to minimize health problems for both mother and infant.  Also for children with cancer and hard to cure viral infections, GcMAF would be the best cure for children.  Actually GcMAF is used overseas to cure specific cases of autism that have a viral orgin.    

in pedeatirc disease complementry and integradet medicne homeoapthic have very useful role especially very irratibltiy child always like to clinkg his parients and sleeplessnes of infants the most appropriate homeopathic medcine in  potency have repeatedly confirm evedence in many experienced homeopathy practitionersbecause  30  potency have no origenal material of source it just have ultra nano particles so very safe for childern and infants NCCIH should consider the modality homeopaty as complementry unprejudcly ,because all over the world homeoapthy is prevaling eg in swetizerlad a legislation pass to give equal right to homeoapthy as the conventional treatment have in insurance and job etc remember some time over scientific regulation also can cause of ignorace of realty my proposal to overcome this NCCIH should arrange public events openly where experienced practitioner should well come to share their evedence and experience  

Dr. Abrar Hussain, We appreciate your feedback and suggestions.  You may be interested in our Strategic Plan (at, which describes the types of research that we fund and how we set research priorities.

This page last modified August 15, 2018