Updates.Clinical outcome studies
A service evaluation at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital recorded the outcome of homeopathic treatment in over 6,500 consecutive patients over a 6 year period. At follow-up, 70% of patients reported an improvement in their health, including 50% who reported ‘major improvement’. Patients were referred by their GP or hospital specialist after conventional options had failed or because conventional treatment was contraindicated.
The best clinical results were seen in the treatment of children with eczema and asthma, and adults with inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, menopausal problems and migraine. Other conditions which improved after homeopathic treatment included arthritis, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Strengths of the study: The large sample size gives particular ‘weight’ to the findings.
Spence D, Thompson E and Barron S. Homeopathic treatment for chronic disease: A 6-Year, university-hospital outpatient observational study. J Altern Complement Med 2005; 5: 793-8.
A study involving 3,981 patients looked at the long-term outcome for patients receiving homeopathic treatment in 103 German and Swiss primary care practices.4. Witt CM, et al. Homeopathic medical practice: long-term results of a cohort study with 3,981 patients. BMC Public Health, 2005; 5: 115 The results showed that treatment by a homeopath lead to marked and sustained improvements in disease severity and quality of life.
Witt CM, et al. Homeopathic medical practice: long-term results of a cohort study with 3,981 patients. BMC Public Health, 2005; 5: 115 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=16266440
A 500-patient survey at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital showed that many patients were able to reduce or stop conventional medication following homeopathic treatment.5. Sharples F, van Haselen R, Fisher P. NHS patients’ perspective on complementary medicine. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2003; 11: 243-8 The size of the effect varied between diagnoses, for example 72% of patients with skin complaints reported being able to stop or reduce their conventional medication; for cancer patients there was no reduction.