Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence, compliance, pattern of use, and economic cost of OM in Korean allergy patients. Methods: A total of 647 allergy patients were enrolled from 10 general hospitals, and were surveyed by the questionnaire. It consisted of 12 items and regarded the prescription rates, reasons for referring, their opinions for the efficacy of OM, and economic costs. Results: A total of 259 (40.5%) patients had used OM, and 35.5% of these patients experienced two or more kinds of these practices. A patients' income or education level did not affect the prescription rates of OM. Of the patients that used OM, 34.6% of them were satisfied with the effect of OM treatment, and 40.9% of them were inclined to continue with their OM treatments. The most frequent reasons for choosing OM were the patient's belief that OM can predispose 'allergic constitution to normal' (30.2%), worries about the possible adverse reactions of the long-term administration of the proven drugs (20.2%), and the safety of OM (15.6%). However, 18.9% of these patients experienced perceived adverse events to their OM treatment such as skin rashes, gastrointestinal discomfort, and hepatitis. The patients that have used OM spent on average $ 915 US dollars annually for OM treatment. Conclusions: Many Korean allergy patients are cliental to OM. Some patients experienced a satisfactory treatment effect from OM, however, others had no treatment effect, even adverse event. Therefore, it is important to educate people to use OM appropriately to make harmony with modern medicine.
- Alternative medicine
- Oriental medicine