Background: Physicians can play a crucial role in the knowledge that patients have about a disease and its prognosis. Recently, patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) are increasingly turning from western medicine to oriental herbal medicine. However, their awareness of AD and attitude toward Western medicine and oriental herbal medicine clinics are scarcely reported. Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the understanding of AD among patients and their parents and to identify their awareness of and attitude toward Western medicine and oriental herbal medicine as treatments for AD. Methods: An online questionnaire was administered to 500 consenting respondents with AD (age, 16∼49 years) and parents of children with AD (age, 0∼15 years). Results: The mean percentage of correct answers to questions about AD was 52.54%. A parental history of AD was independently associated with higher respondent's knowledge about the disease and its treatment. The satisfaction with treatment outcomes was highest among patients treated at private clinic of dermatology specialists (49.4%), while lowest among those treated at oriental herbal medicine clinics (38.4%). Many participants were aware that oriental herbal medicine requires a longer treatment period for a cure and does not burden the skin, while steroid phobia was seen in most of participants. Conclusion: Physicians need to educate AD patients and their parents about the disease and its treatment. Misconceptions for Western medicine and oriental herbal medicine among AD patients and parents should be corrected to improve their prognosis.
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