The Immunisation Dilemma—Part 5: Towards International Agreement on Homoeoprophylaxis
29 May 2015 (online)
Responses collected during two international surveys of homeopathic practitioners' attitudes towards and use of homoeoprophylaxis (HP), together with evidence presented in the first four parts of the series, have resulted in a statement of what is known about HP as well as a statement of a majority position regarding HP. One unambiguous finding is that education in HP is inadequate. Also, confidence in the evidence base of HP is strong but not sufficient. More research is needed. Though it is clear that complete consensus is not possible, this majority position has the potential to lead to improved education in HP, more focused research and a more coordinated approach to HP by practitioner associations internationally.
Qualification: Throughout this article responses collected during the first and second international surveys will be used to inform the discussion. Some readers may contend that these responses are unrepresentative coming mainly from five English-speaking countries and parts of Europe. Two points are relevant here: (1) it is estimated that between 4 and 5,000 English-speaking homeopaths were invited to participate in the surveys. The fact that only one in five chose to respond (1,228 responses from 1,124 persons) means that four out of five were either not interested in the topic or unwilling to give their (confidential) opinion. It is impossible to say what their opinions might be, but it is likely that they are not committed about the topic either way, and are therefore more likely to be ‘middle of the road’ or uncertain, rather than extremely supportive or extremely opposed to HP. (2) The bulk of homeopaths not made aware of the survey were from the Indian subcontinent and South America, plus some eastern-European countries where English is not widely used. HP is used throughout these regions as noted in Part 4 of this series, but it is uncertain how their omission might bias responses, if at all.
It is only possible to use those responses that were received, and it is highly likely that they represent a full range of views towards HP, although the percentages in different response groups may be indicative only. However, they represent the most comprehensive survey of HP ever undertaken, and therefore will be used without this qualification being repeated. S1 = Survey 1 and S2 = Survey 2.
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