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Vol. 219, No. 4, 2009
Issue release date: November 2009

Homoeopathic versus Conventional Therapy for Atopic Eczema in Children: Medical and Economic Results

Witt C.M. · Brinkhaus B. · Pach D. · Reinhold T. · Wruck K. · Roll S. · Jäckel T. · Staab D. · Wegscheider K. · Willich S.N.
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Background: One of five children visiting a homoeopathic physician is suffering from atopic eczema. Objective: To examine the effectiveness, safety and costs of homoeopathic versus conventional treatment in usual care. Methods: In a prospective multicentre comparative observational non-randomised study, 135 children (homoeopathy n = 48 vs. conventional n = 87) with mild to moderate atopic eczema were included. The primary outcome was the SCORAD (Scoring Atopic Dermatitis) at 6 months. Further outcomes at 6 and 12 months also included quality of life of parents and children, use of conventional medicine, treatment safety and disease-related costs. Results: The adjusted SCORAD showed no significant differences between the groups at both 6 months (homoeopathy 22.49 ± 3.02 [mean ± SE] vs. conventional 18.20 ± 2.31, p = 0.290) and 12 months (17.41 ± 3.01 vs. 17.29 ± 2.31, p = 0.974). Adjusted costs were higher in the homoeopathic than in the conventional group: for the first 6 months EUR 935.02 vs. EUR 514.44, p = 0.026, and for 12 months EUR 1,524.23 vs. EUR 721.21, p = 0.001. Quality of life was not significantly different between both groups. Conclusion: Taking patient preferences into account, homoeopathic treatment was not superior to conventional treatment for children with mild to moderate atopic eczema.

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