Tim Brunson DCH

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An exploratory study of the contextual effect of homeopathic care

Full Title: An exploratory study of the contextual effect of homeopathic care. A randomised controlled trial of homeopathic care vs. self-prescribed homeopathic medicine in the prevention of upper respiratory tract infections in children.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to explore the contextual effect of homeopathic consultation by investigating the effect of homeopathic care compared to self-treatment with self prescribed homeopathic medicine in the prevention of childhood upper respiratory tract infections (URTI). METHODS: Randomised parallel group trial with 208 children below the age of 10. The children were randomly assigned to receive either homeopathic care (HC: individual homeopathic consultations with any homeopathic medicine in any potency being prescribed) or one of three self-prescribed homeopathic medicines (SPH) in C-30 administered twice weekly, for 12 weeks. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in clinical effects between SPH and HC for primary outcomes. Mean URTI scores over 12 weeks were 39.0 in the HC group and 43.9 in the SPH group (p=0.782, difference -5.0 points (95% C.I.; -20.5 to +10.5)). The mean number of days where the parents rated their child as 'ill with URTI' was 10.0 in the HC group and 13.7 in the SPH group (p=0.394). There was a trend in favour of HC for other outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: In this innovative and exploratory study, there was no evidence for a clinically relevant effect of homeopathic care vs. a homeopathic medicine given by the child's parents and based on a pre-agreed homeopathic treatment protocol.

Prev Med. 2007 Oct;45(4):274-9; discussion 280-1. Epub 2007 Feb 9. Steinsbekk A, Lewith G, Fønnebø V, Bentzen N. Department of Public Health and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), MTFS, N-7489 Trondheim, Norway. aslak.steinsbekk@ntnu.no

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