Evaluation of a GP practice based homeopathy service
Received21 August 2003
revised13 January 2004
accepted02 February 2004
19 December 2017 (online)
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of a GP-led practice-based homeopathy service on symptoms, activity, wellbeing, general practice consultation rate and the use of conventional medications. Data were collected for 97 consecutive patients referred to a homeopathy service between 1 July 2002 and 23 January 2003. Self-rated symptom severity, activity limitation and wellbeing were scored on a seven-point scale at initial homeopathic consultation and via postal questionnaire at a mean follow-up time of 134 days.
Primary symptoms improved by a mean of 2.49 points (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.08–2.90; ); secondary symptoms by 2.49 points (95% CI 2.00–2.98; ); ability to undertake activity by 2.43 points (95% CI 1.95–2.91; ) and wellbeing by 1.41 points (95% CI 1.02–1.80; ). Following use of the homeopathy service the mean 6-month general practice consultation rate decreased by 1.18 consultations per patient (95% CI 0.40–1.99; ). Fifty-seven per cent of patients reduced or stopped taking their conventional medication, saving £2,807.30 per year. The main limitation of this study is the absence of a control group. The findings warrant further research including controlled studies and economic analysis.
- 1 Vickers A, Zollman C. ABC of complementary medicine: homeopathy. Bri Med J 1999; 319: 1115–1118.
- 2 Thomas K, Nicholl J, Coleman P. Use and expenditure on complementary medicine in England: a population based survey. Complement Ther Med 2001; 9: 2–11.
- 3 Paterson C. Measuring outcomes in primary care: a patient generated measure, MYMOP, compared to the SF-36 health survey. Br Med J 1996; 312: 1012–1016.
- 4 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Integrated Homeopathic Medicine: a Guide for the NHS, Faculty of Homeopathy, January 2003.
- 5 Hills D. Glastonbury Health Centre Complementary Medicine Service, www.integrated health.org.uk/ih-arrive.html (accessed June 2003).
- 6 Soloman D. Newcastle PCT Pilot Integrated Complementary Therapies Project. Conference Presentation: Developing Clinical Governance for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Primary Care—The costs and benefits of CAM in primary care. King's Fund, London, 19 June 2003.