A Long Term Observational Study of 3,709 patients In Germany concluded that “Patients who seek homeopathic treatment are likely to improve considerably. These effects persist for as long as 8 years.”
The study published in 2008 showed that homeopathy in general can help individuals with multiple chronic problems and that the effect can last for many years. The study was a complex one and much was done to maintain statistical integrity.
In total 2,722 (1,903 adults, 819 children) contributed data to the 8-years follow-up. Patients in this study suffered from long-term chronic diseases (table 1). Response rates were considerable higher in female than in male adults (74.3% vs. 67.2%) but similar in female and male children (76.9% vs. 75.7%). Thus, male adults are somewhat a bit underrepresented in our sample. Age at study entry matched the data of the complete sample (table 1).
Table 1. Patient characteristics (values are absolute numbers and percent or mean ± standard deviation)
The majority of the patients were highly educated female adults, most of them fairly below the age of 60 (table 1). Adults mainly suffered from headache (tension type and migraine), allergic diseases, or skin diseases, children from atopic eczema or multiple infections. The average number of diseases at baseline was 2.8 ± 1.1 in adults and 2.3 ± 1.0 in children.
During the study mean severity of complaints improved from baseline 6.2 ± 1.7 to 2.7 ± 2.1 after 8 years in adults and from 6.1 ± 1.8 to 1.7 ± 1.9 in children (table 3, figure 1). From the generalised linear model the respective standardised mean changes (mean changes divided by standard deviations at baseline) were estimated at 1.61 for adults (CI: 1.54 to 2.68, p < 0.001) and 2.01 for children (CI: 1.89 to 2.12, p < 0.001).
1283 adults (67.4% of the study population, 48.7% of all responders) and 655 children (80.0%/61.0%) experienced a clinically relevant treatment success, defined as an improvement of complaint severity of 2 pts or more. From the logistic regression we found that this was more likely in women than in men, and in children than in adults. Patients who simultaneously used other treatments (conventional or complementary) had a smaller chance to improve relevantly, as did those suffering from allergies, allergic rhinitis, or headache. In contrast, a diagnosis of multiple infections was a positive predictor (table 6).
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