Homeopathy 2018; 107(03): 155-156
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1667189
The Faculty of Homeopathy

Individualisation and High Dilution

Peter Fisher
1   Editor-in-Chief, Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, London, United Kingdom
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
27 July 2018 (online)

This issue of Homeopathy explores two important aspects of homeopathy, at polar ends of the spectrum of the scientific issues raised by homeopathy. One cluster of articles looks at individualisation and prognostic factors for response to homeopathic treatment. These are vital issues to homeopathic clinical practice, which is often highly individualised so that different patients suffering from nominally the same disease may receive different treatments. The methodology to explore highly individualised treatment is not well developed. At the other pole, we publish three basic science articles looking at the role of water structure in the vexed question of how homeopathic high dilutions exert their effects.

One method of examining the effect of individualised therapy is the N-of-1 method. In an N-of-1 trial, patients receive active and placebo treatment alternately and in random sequence, with a washout period between treatments to allow the patient to return to baseline. It is particularly suitable for patients with chronic stable conditions or who undergo short-lived ‘assaults’, such as cancer chemotherapy. David Brulé and colleagues from Ontario, Canada, made a heroic, but ultimately failed, effort to apply this method to homeopathic treatment of cancer-related fatigue. They screened 68 patients, but only four consented to join the trial, and only one completed the study. Furthermore, there were multiple confounding factors. They conclude that the study of this design was not viable in this context.[1]