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

Witt C.M.a · Brinkhaus B.a · Pach D.a · Reinhold T.a · Wruck K.a · Roll S.a · Jäckel T.a · Staab D.b · Wegscheider K.c · Willich S.N.a
aInstitute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Centre Berlin, and bDepartment of Paediatrics, Pulmonology and Immunology, Charité University Medical Centre Berlin/Helios Klinik Emil von Behring, Berlin, and cDepartment of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany Dermatology 2009;219:329–340 (DOI:10.1159/000248854)

Abstract

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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