The therapeutic effectiveness of osteopathic treatments of babies and children with atopic dermatitis. A randomized controlled trial


Verification of the hypothesis if the symptom complex of atopic dermatitis with babies and children can be positively influenced by osteopathic treatment.
Study’s design:
A randomised, controlled study of effectiveness
The recruiting of patients took place in various paediatric practices. Babies and children at the age of two months to 10.5 years (4.2 years on average) took part in the study.
38 children with atopic dermatitis diagnosed by doctors were divided into two groups of equal size by external randomization. One child of the treatment group had to break up because of acute otitis media.
The patients of the treatment group were treated three times in an interval of two to three weeks. There the osteopathic dysfunction was recorded by the black box method and treatment was according to the osteopathic principles. The children of the control group were left untreated. As a basic therapy externa free of active substance and oil bathes were accepted/allowed; cortisone therapy and similar practices were excluded.
Main outcome measures:
Improvement of the degree of severity and of the symptom complex of the atopic dermatitis. As measure served the SCORAD-Index of the “European Task Force on Atopic Dermatitis”. Secondary outcome measure was the recording of the osteopathic dysfunctions.
In the course of the osteopathic treatment a reduction of the SCORAD-index from 43 to 12 points on average could be reached in the treatment group, which means an improvement of 72 % and is statistically significant (p<0.000, CI=20,9/40,7). In the control group in contrast this value was only 8.5 % (CI=-2,5/8,7). Also the direct comparison of the groups was statistically highly significant. (p<0.000, CI= 16,7/38,7). Conclusion: Considering the positive results it is important to carry out follow-up studies, if these statements can be reproduced, are sustainable and can be verified. This could support the statement that osteopathic treatment is effective for the cure as a supplement to classic basis therapy of atopic dermatitis.