Utilization of Western and Traditional Korean Medicine for Children and Adolescents with Mental Disorders: a Nationwide Population-based Study from 2010 to 2012.

Journal of Korean medical science

PubMedID: 27134500

Kim SJ, Kim B, Lee YS, Bahn GH. Utilization of Western and Traditional Korean Medicine for Children and Adolescents with Mental Disorders: a Nationwide Population-based Study from 2010 to 2012. J Korean Med Sci. 2016;31(5):770-6.
When in need of medical treatment, Korean citizens have a choice of practitioners of western medicine (WM) or Traditional Korean Medicine (TKM). However, the two branches frequently conflict with one another, particularly with regard to mental disorders. This study was designed to compare the utilization of WM and TKM, focusing on child/adolescent patients with mental disorders. We analyzed F-code (Mental and behavioral disorders) claims from the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, including data from 0-18-year-old patients from 2010 to 2012. Slightly more men than women utilized WM, while TKM use was almost evenly balanced. WM claims increased with advancing age, whereas utilization of TKM was common for the 0-6 age group. In WM and TKM, the total number of claims relying on the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) was 331,154 (92. 78%) and 73,282 (97. 85%), respectively, and the number of claims relying on medical aid was 25,753 (7. 22%) and 1,610 (2. 15%), respectively. The most frequent F-coded claim in WM was F90 (Hyperkinetic disorders), with 64,088 claims (17. 96%), and that in TKM was F45 (Somatoform disorders), with 28,852 claims (38. 52%). The prevalence of a single disorder without comorbidities was 168,764 (47. 29%) in WM and 52,615 (70. 25%) in TKM. From these data, we conclude that WM takes prevalence over TKM in cases of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as in psychological problems such as depression and anxiety. On the other hand, patients utilizing TKM more commonly present with physical health problems including somatoform problems, sleep, and eating disorders.