Research: MCCARNEY and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 105

Abstract

MCCARNEY and colleagues, Department of Psychological Medicine, Imperial College London, Room 4.06, Paterson Centre, 20 South Wharf Road, London W2 1PD, have reviewed (23 references) homeopathy for chronic asthma.

Background

The aim of this review was to assess the effects of homeopathic treatment on stable chronic asthma.

Methodology

Literature databases were searched up to August 2003. Randomized trials of homeopathy for chronic asthma with observation periods of at least one week were included. Trial data were extracted by two reviewers, and trial quality was assessed.

Results

6 trials with a total of 556 patients were found. They were all placebo-controlled and double-blinded but of varying quality. None of them reported any significant effects on validated symptom scales. However there has been only a limited attempt to measure the effect of the whole care on the symptoms, i.e. the effect of the consultation as well, which in homeopathy is important.

Conclusion

There is not enough reliable evidence to assess the role of homeopathy in chronic asthma. In particular, there is a need for observational data to document different methods of homeopathic prescribing and patient responses.

References

McCarney RW, Linde K, Lasserson TJ. Homeopathy for chronic asthma. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2004 (1): CD000353.

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