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Individualized Homeopathy Reduces Symptoms of Chronic Chikungunya in Haiti
05 February 2018 (online)
Background: Chikungunya (CHIK) is a mosquito-borne illness with only symptomatic conventional treatment. Acute symptoms include severe joint pain, myalgia and fever, and may include rash, headaches, cervical adenopathy, and conjunctivitis. Acute symptoms typically resolve in days except for joint problems that may persist for several weeks, and in some cases become chronic with substantial impact on individuals’ daily activities. CHIK became epidemic in the Caribbean in May 2014. Homeopaths Without Borders working in Haiti to train community health workers began a study after noting more rapid symptom resolution in patients treated with homeopathy.
Methods: Patients > 25 years of age with CHIK symptoms for at least 6 months were recruited from four Haitian clinics in March 2015, given informed consent, and treated with a single remedy in 12C potency daily for 1 week. Medications for concurrent conditions were allowed, but patients taking steroids or NSAIDs were excluded. Five follow-up sessions were conducted at 2 and 6 weeks, 4 and 5 months with a final phone call at 7 months. Standardized questions at follow-up resulted in action to WAIT, REPEAT, or CHANGE the medicine. A Visual Analog Scale (VAS, 0–10) for level of current pain and a Quality of Life (QOL) scale (0–3) for effect of pain on daily activities were completed at baseline and at each follow-up. Mean scores from initial to final recorded were compared with paired two-sample mean t-tests.
Results: Of 171 enrolled, complete data from 67 patients who had at least four interviews were analyzed (mean age: 46, 47F, 20M). The VAS scores changed from 6.87 (±5.15) to 4.40 (±8.51), p < 0.001. The QOL scores changed from 2.27 (±0.62) to 1.46 (±0.77), p < 0.001. Pain was the most common complaint followed by vision changes.
Conclusion: Individualized homeopathy reduces the symptoms of chronic CHIK. Remedy selection is for discussion.
Keywords: Chikungunya, Haiti, homeopathy