Users of homeopaths in Norway in 1998, compared to previous users and GP patients
Received13 May 2002
revised01 July 2002
accepted28 October 2002
27 December 2017 (online)
Aim: Homeopathy is the form of complementary medicine most frequently used in Norway. This study describes complaints and characteristics of patients who visited Norwegian homeopaths in 1998, comparing them with those who visited homeopaths in 1985 and general practice patients.
Methods: We conducted a survey of 1097 patients visiting 80 Norwegian homeopaths in 1998 and compared them with a similar survey in 1985 (1072 consultations) and a 1989 survey of general practice patients (90 458 consultations).
Results: One in four of patients visiting homeopaths in 1998 were children between 0 and 9 years of age, compared to one in ten in 1985 and in general practice. Almost half of the patients in 1998 had used prescription drugs provided by a medical doctor the previous month for the same complaints they presented to the homeopath. In 1998 patients sought homeopathy most often because of respiratory and skin complaints. In 1985 the most common reasons were musculo-skeletal and digestive problems. Four of the five commonest reasons for encounter in homeopathic practice in 1998 were also found among the five commonest reasons for general practice consultations.
Conclusion: Patients currently visiting homeopaths differ in age and to some extent in complaints compared to previous users of homeopathy and general practice patients.
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