Research: MATHIE and FARRER,

Listed in Issue 152

Abstract

MATHIE and FARRER, Faculty of Homeopathy and British Homeopathic Association, Hahnemann House, Luton LU1 3BE, UK, rmathie@trusthomeopathy.org, have carried out a pilot study of homeopathic prescribing in dental practice.

Background

A base for targeted research development in dental homeopathy can be founded on systematic collection and analysis of relevant data obtained by dentists in clinical practice. The aim of this study was to collect pilot data, with 14 homeopathic dentists collecting clinical and outcome data over a 6-month period in their practice setting.

Methodology

A specifically designed Excel spreadsheet enabled recording of consecutive dental appointments under the following main headings: date; patient identity (anonymous), age and gender; dental condition/complaint treated; whether chronic or acute, new or follow-up case; patient-assessed outcome (7-point Likert scale: -3 to +3) compared with first appointment; homeopathic medicine/s prescribed; whether any other medication/s being taken for the condition. Spreadsheets were submitted monthly via e-mail to the project co-ordinator for data synthesis and analysis.

Results

Practitioners typically submitted data regularly and punctually, and most data cells were completed as required, enabling substantial data analysis. The mean age of patients was 46.2 years. A total of 726 individual patient conditions were treated overall. There was opportunity to follow-up 496 individual cases (positive outcome in 90.1%; negative in 1.8%; no change in 7.9%; outcome not recorded in 0.2%). 64 of these 496 patients reported their outcome assessment before the end of the homeopathic appointment. Strongly positive outcomes (scores of +2 or +3) were achieved most notably in the frequently treated conditions of pericoronitis, periodontal abscess, periodontal infection, reversible pulpitis, sensitive cementum, and toothache with decay.

Conclusion

This multi-practitioner pilot study indicates that systematic recording of practice data in dental homeopathy is both feasible and capable of informing future research.

References

Mathie RT, Farrer S. Outcomes from homeopathic prescribing in dental practice: a prospective, research-targeted, pilot study. Homeopathy: the Journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy 96 (2): 74-81, Apr 2007.

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