Characteristics of visitors to practitioners of homeopathy in a large adult Norwegian population (the HUNT 3 study)
Received22 March 2012
revised10 May 2012
accepted14 May 2012
29 December 2017 (online)
Objectives: The aim was to investigate characteristics of female and male visitors to practitioners of homeopathy in a large adult population in Norway.
Methods: A cross-sectional adult total population health survey from Central Norway (the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study – HUNT 3) conducted in 2008. Variables included demographics, lifestyle, health status and health care use. Multivariate logistic regression models were employed to analyse the data.
Results: In total 50,827 participated (54% of the total population). The prevalence of visits to practitioners of homeopathy was 1.3%, a decline from 4.3% 10years earlier. Both female and male visitors were 4–5 times more likely to experience recent somatic complaints. Further, female visitors were characterised by higher education, non-smoking, more chronic complaints, and visiting a physician or a chiropractor the past year whereas male visitors were characterised by seeking help for psychiatric complaints and visiting a chiropractor. There were no associations of age, marital status, physical activity, perceived global health, respiratory, skin, or musculoskeletal diseases with visiting practitioners of homeopathy.
Conclusions and proposals: There has been a marked decline in visits to practitioners of homeopathy. The results indicate a change in reasons to consult from complaints that influences the visitors’ global health to less chronic complaints. Further research should compare changes in visits complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners and the characteristics of visitors to practitioners of homeopathy to characteristics of other CAM visitors.
- 1 Anelli M., Scheepers L., Sermeus G., Van Wassenhoven M. Homeopathy and health related quality of life: a survey in six European countries. Homeopathy 2002; 91: 18-21.
- 2 Becker-Witt C., Ludtke R., Weisshuhn T.E., Willich S.N. Diagnoses and treatment in homeopathic medical practice. Forsch Komplementmed und Klassische Naturheilkunde/Research in Complementary and Natural Classical Medicine 2004; 11: 98-103.
- 3 Heiligers P., de Groot J., Koster D., van Dulmen S. Diagnoses and visit length in complementary and mainstream medicine. BMC Complement Altern Med 2010; 10: 3.
- 4 Jacobs J., Chapman E.H., Crothers D. Patient characteristics and practice patterns of physicians using homeopathy. Arch Fam Med 1998; 7: 537-540.
- 5 Pomposelli R., Andreoni C., Costini G. et al. Opinions and self-reported health status of Italians seeking homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy 2006; 95: 81-87.
- 6 Relton C., Chatfield K., Partington H., Foulkes L. Patients treated by homeopaths registered with the society of homeopaths: a pilot study. Homeopathy 2007; 96: 87-89.
- 7 Steinsbekk A., Fønnebø V. Users of homeopaths in Norway in 1998, compared to previous users and GP patients. Homeopathy 2003; 92: 3-10.
- 8 Trichard M., Lamure E., Chaufferin G. Study of the practice of homeopathic general practitioners in France. Homeopathy 2003; 92: 135-139.
- 9 Van Wassenhoven M., Ives G. An observational study of patients receiving homeopathic treatment. Homeopathy 2004; 93: 3-11.
- 10 Viksveen P., Steinsbekk A. Changes in patients visiting a homeopathic clinic in Norway from 1994 to 2004. Homeopathy 2005; 94: 222-228.
- 11 Armstrong A.R., Thiébaut S.P., Brown L.J., Nepal B. Australian adults use complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of chronic illness: a national study. Aust N Z J Public Health 2011; 35: 384-390.
- 12 Hunt K.J., Coelho H.F., Wider B. et al. Complementary and alternative medicine use in England: results from a national survey. Int J Clin Pract 2010; 64: 1496-1502.
- 13 Ndao-Brumblay S.K., Green C.R. Predictors of complementary and alternative medicine use in chronic pain patients. Pain Med 2010; 11: 16-24.
- 14 Shmueli A., Igudin I., Shuval J. Change and stability: use of complementary and alternative medicine in Israel: 1993, 2000 and 2007. Eur J Public Health 2010; 21: 254-259.
- 15 Tait E.M., Laditka S.B., Laditka J.N., Nies M.A., Racine E.F. Use of complementary and alternative medicine for physical performance, energy, immune function, and general health among older women and men in the United States. J Women Aging 2012; 24: 23-43.
- 16 Williams A., Kitchen P., Eby J. Alternative health care consultations in Ontario, Canada: a geographic and socio-demographic analysis. BMC Complement Altern Med 2011; 11: 47.
- 17 Thomas K., Coleman P. Use of complementary or alternative medicine in a general population in great Britain. Results from the national omnibus survey. J Public Health 2004; 26: 152-157.
- 18 Barnes P.M., Bloom B., Nahin R.L. Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults and children: United States. National Health Statistics Reports; 2007. p. 2008.
- 19 Eisenberg D.M., Davis R.B., Ettner S.L. et al. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990–1997. J Am Med Assoc 1998; 280: 1569-1575.
- 20 Steinsbekk A., Nilsen T.V.L., Rise M.B. Characteristics of visitors to homeopaths in a total adult population study in Norway (hunt 2). Homeopathy 2008; 97: 178-184.
- 21 Swayne J.M. Survey of the use of homeopathic medicine in the UK health system. J R Coll Gen Pract 1989; 39: 503-506.
- 22 Holmen J., Midthjell K., Krüger Ø. et al. The Nord-Trøndelag health study 1995–97 (hunt 2): objectives, contents, methods and participation. Norsk Epidemiologi 2003; 13: 19-32.
- 23 Su D., Li L. Trends in the use of complementary and alternative medicine in the United States: 2002–2007. J Health Care Poor Underserved 2011; 22: 296-310.
- 24 Steinsbekk A., Rise M., Johnsen R. Changes among male and female visitors to practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine in a large adult Norwegian population from 1997 to 2008 (the hunt studies). BMC Complement Altern Med 2011; 11: 61.
- 25 Tindle H.A., Davis R.B., Phillips R.S., Eisenberg D.M. Trends in use of complementary and alternative medicine by US adults: 1997–2002. Altern Ther Health Med 2005; 11: 42-49.
- 26 Colin P. An epidemiological study of a homeopathic practice. Br Hom J 2000; 89: 116-121.