Homeopathic and conventional treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints: a comparative study on outcome in the primary care setting.
IACH - Prof. G. Vithoulkas
Homeopathic and conventional treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints: a comparative study on outcome in the primary care setting.
  • Author(s)

    Haidvogl M, Riley DS, Heger M.

    Journal

    BMC Complement Altern Medorrhinum 2007 Mar 2;7:7

    Notes

    The aim of the authors of this study was to compare the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints with orthodox medical treatment for the same conditions. 1577 clients from 57 clinics from Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the USA were enrolled in the study. They were asked to rate their response to either therapy at 14 days after beginning treatment. 86.9% of those given homeopathic medicines declared that they had had either a complete recovery or major improvement in their symptoms. 86% of those given orthodox medical treatment reported the same thing. Subgroup analysis found that 88.5% of children given homeopathics reported a complete recovery or major improvement in symptoms whereas 84.5% of those given orthodox medical treatment reported similar success. In addition, the onset of improvement within the first 7 days after treatment was significantly faster in those with homeopathic treatment, both in children and adults.

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND:

    The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of homeopathy compared to conventional treatment in acute respiratory and ear complaints in a primary care setting.

    METHODS:

    The study was designed as an international, multi-centre, comparative cohort study of non-randomised design. Patients, presenting themselves with at least one chief complaint: acute (< or = 7 days) runny nose, sore throat, ear pain, sinus pain or cough, were recruited at 57 primary care practices in Austria (8), Germany (8), the Netherlands (7), Russia (6), Spain (6), Ukraine (4), United Kingdom (10) and the USA (8) and given either homeopathic or conventional treatment. Therapy outcome was measured by using the response rate, defined as the proportion of patients experiencing 'complete recovery' or 'major improvement' in each treatment group. The primary outcome criterion was the response rate after 14 days of therapy.

    RESULTS:

    Data of 1,577 patients were evaluated in the full analysis set of which 857 received homeopathic (H) and 720 conventional (C) treatment. The majority of patients in both groups reported their outcome after 14 days of treatment as complete recovery or major improvement (H: 86.9%; C: 86.0%; p = 0.0003 for non-inferiority testing). In the per-protocol set (H: 576 and C: 540 patients) similar results were obtained (H: 87.7%; C: 86.9%; p = 0.0019). Further subgroup analysis of the full analysis set showed no differences of response rates after 14 days in children (H: 88.5%; C: 84.5%) and adults (H: 85.6%; C: 86.6%). The unadjusted odds ratio (OR) of the primary outcome criterion was 1.40 (0.89-2.22) in children and 0.92 (0.63-1.34) in adults. Adjustments for demographic differences at baseline did not significantly alter the OR. The response rates after 7 and 28 days also showed no significant differences between both treatment groups. However, onset of improvement within the first 7 days after treatment was significantly faster upon homeopathic treatment both in children (p = 0.0488) and adults (p = 0.0001). Adverse drug reactions occurred more frequently in adults of the conventional group than in the homeopathic group (C: 7.6%; H: 3.1%, p = 0.0032), whereas in children the occurrence of adverse drug reactions was not significantly different (H: 2.0%; C: 2.4%, p = 0.7838).

    CONCLUSION:

    In primary care, homeopathic treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints was not inferior to conventional treatment.

    Category: Human Studies

    External url

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17335565

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