This cross-sectional, retrospective, observational study analyzed the demographics of patients with peripheral facial palsy in South Korea and their use of healthcare services.
The 2016 Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment National Patient Sample dataset was used; a total of 4790 patients, diagnosed with facial palsy, who had used healthcare services at least once between January 2016 and December 2016 were included, and data on the use of medical services, hospitalizations, sociodemographic factors, treatments, and medications were analyzed.
Overall, 326 patients per 100,000 individuals used healthcare services at least once because of peripheral facial palsy in 2016, with higher numbers for women and those aged 50-59 years. The percentage of patients who used Korean traditional medicine (KM), Western medicine (WM), and both KM and WM was 54.4, 23.3, and 22.3%, respectively. Users of both WM and KM had higher per capita medical costs, more visits, and longer treatment durations. Physiotherapy was the most frequent WM treatment (44.4%), and “examinations” was the costliest (24.7%) category. “Procedures” was both the most frequent and costliest KM category (99.9 and 57.3%, respectively). “Continuous intravenous injections” (8.6%) and “superficial heat therapy” (8.3%) were the most frequent WM treatments, while acupuncture accounted for 98% of all KM treatments.
This study analyzed the demographic characteristics and medical service use of patients with peripheral facial palsy in detail. These results can be used as basic information to improve clinical and policy strategies for the management and treatment of peripheral facial palsy.

© 2021. The Author(s).