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 + or - 3.02 [mean + or - SE] vs. conventional 18.20 + or - 2.31, p = 0.290) and 12 months (17.41 + or - 3.01 vs. 17.29 + or - 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.
Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.