Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disease (소아알레르기 호흡기학회지)
PURPOSE: To investigate utilization patterns and cost of medical treatment of complementary alternative therapy in children with atopic dermatitis. METHODS: A self-reported questionnaire concerning utilization pattern and cost of medical treatment of complementary alternative therapy was completed by 196 children <12-year-of-age diagnosed with atopic dermatitis for over 1 year. Descriptive, t-test, and analysis of variance analyses were performed. RESULTS: About 70% of children reported the use of alternative therapy methods including, in order of frequency, bath, herbal medicine, supplemental foods, aroma therapy, massage, and acupuncture. During the previous 12 months, direct costs for these hospital treatments averaged 596,300 Korean Won (KRW, the currency of South Korea). The time cost averaged 657,000 KRW and transportation expenses averaged 598,000 KRW of indirect cost of hospital treatment. The direct cost for complementary alternative therapy averaged 741,000 KRW. The time cost averaged 340,000 KRW and transportation expenses averaged 810,000 KRW of indirect cost of complementary alternative therapy. There was a statistically significant relationship between direct cost of complementary alternative therapy and family income. CONCLUSION: The cost of complementary alternative therapy exceeded the cost of hospital treatment, and indirect costs exceeded direct costs. Analyses of cost-effectiveness of patient treatment should include complementary alternative therapy.