Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2003 Mar;22(3):229-34. Related Articles, Links
Homeopathy for childhood diarrhea: combined results and metaanalysis from three randomized, controlled clinical trials.
Jacobs J, Jonas WB, Jimenez-Perez M, Crothers D.
Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown a positive treatment effect of individualized homeopathic treatment for acute childhood diarrhea, but sample sizes were small and results were just at or near the level of statistical significance. Because all three studies followed the same basic study design, the combined data from these three studies were analyzed to obtain greater statistical power. METHODS: Three double blind clinical trials of diarrhea in 242 children ages 6 months to 5 years were analyzed as 1 group. Children were randomized to receive either an individualized homeopathic medicine or placebo to be taken as a single dose after each unformed stool for 5 days. Parents recorded daily stools on diary cards, and health workers made home visits daily to monitor children. The duration of diarrhea was defined as the time until there were less than 3 unformed stools per day for 2 consecutive days. A metaanalysis of the effect-size difference of the three studies was also conducted. RESULTS: Combined analysis shows a duration of diarrhea of 3.3 days in the homeopathy group compared with 4.1 in the placebo group (P = 0.008). The metaanalysis shows a consistent effect-size difference of approximately 0.66 day (P = 0.008). CONCLUSIONS: The results from these studies confirm that individualized homeopathic treatment decreases the duration of acute childhood diarrhea and suggest that larger sample sizes be used in future homeopathic research to ensure adequate statistical power. Homeopathy should be considered for use as an adjunct to oral rehydration for this illness.
Publication Types: Meta-Analysis
PMID: 12634583 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Ann Intern Med. 2003 Mar 4;138(5):393-9 Comment in: Ann Intern Med. 2003 Oct 21;139(8):W73; author reply W76. Ann Intern Med. 2003 Oct 21;139(8):W74; author reply W76. Ann Intern Med. 2003 Oct 21;139(8):W75; author reply W76.
A critical overview of homeopathy.
Jonas WB, Kaptchuk TJ, Linde K.
Samueli Institute for Information Biology, 121 South Saint Asaph Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314, USA. email@example.com
Homeopathy is a 200-year-old therapeutic system that uses small doses of various substances to stimulate autoregulatory and self-healing processes. Homeopathy selects substances by matching a patient\'s symptoms with symptoms produced by these substances in healthy individuals. Medicines are prepared by serial dilution and shaking, which proponents claim imprints information into water. Although many conventional physicians find such notions implausible, homeopathy had a prominent place in 19th-century health care and has recently undergone a worldwide revival. In the United States, patients who seek homeopathic care are more affluent and younger and more often seek treatment for subjective symptoms than those who seek conventional care. Homeopathic remedies were allowed by the 1939 Pure Food and Drug Act and are available over the counter. Some data--both from randomized, controlled trials and laboratory research--show effects from homeopathic remedies that contradict the contemporary rational basis of medicine. Three independent systematic reviews of placebo-controlled trials on homeopathy reported that its effects seem to be more than placebo, and one review found its effects consistent with placebo. There is also evidence from randomized, controlled trials that homeopathy may be effective for the treatment of influenza, allergies, postoperative ileus, and childhood diarrhea. Evidence suggests that homeopathy is ineffective for migraine, delayed-onset muscle soreness, and influenza prevention. There is a lack of conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy for most conditions. Homeopathy deserves an open-minded opportunity to demonstrate its value by using evidence-based principles, but it should not be substituted for proven therapies.
Publication Types: Historical Article Review Review, Academic
PMID: 12614092 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
|Replies||Posted By||#||Date & Time|
|Re: Homeopathy: empiric peer reviewed evidence||George Keeler MD||0||05/04/05 11:10 AM|
|Re: Homeopathy: empiric peer reviewed evidence||stan||0||07/05/04 02:16 PM|