Research: VAN WASSENHOVEN and IVES,

Listed in Issue 103

Abstract

VAN WASSENHOVEN and IVES, Unio Homoeopathica Belgica, 132 Chaussee de Bruxelles, 1190 Brussels, Belgium, have published an observational study of patients receiving homeopathic treatment.

Background

Observational studies have recently been recognized more for their usefulness in contributing information about the usefulness of homeopathic treatment in general practice.

Methodology

80 general medical practices in Belgium whose physicians were accredited homeopaths participated in this study. All patients who visited the practice on a specific day and their physicians completed a questionnaire.

Results

782 patients presented with diseases of all major organ systems which were sufficiently serious to interfere with daily living in 78% of cases. Patients reported that consultations were much longer than with conventional physicians but cost less. Conventional drugs were prescribed to about a quarter of patients, mostly antibiotics or cardiovascular medication. Patient satisfaction was very high (95% fairly or very satisfied). 89% reported improvement of their condition, 8.5% reported no change, and 2.4% a worsening. Physicians' ratings of improvement were similar.

Conclusion

Patients were very satisfied with homeopathic treatment. Costs of homeopathic treatment were significantly lower, and patients were able to discontinue previously prescribed drugs.

References

Van Wassenhoven M, Ives G. An observational study of patients receiving ho meopathic treatment. Homeopathy 93 (1): 3-11, Jan 2004.

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