Homeopathy and Expert Consensus Recommendations – Unlikely Bedfellows? New Research in Homeopathy and Expert Consensus Recommendations in Oncological Supportive Care
05 February 2020 (online)
Context: Homeopathy is the integrative medicine most widely used by patients with cancer in France. However, there were as yet no supportive care guidelines for this therapy. The International Homeopathic Society of Supportive Care in Oncology (www.shisso-info.com) aimed to make recommendations in order to propose to all health professionals concerned with supportive care, a homeopathic prescription tool respecting the principles of similitude, individualisation and of the infinitesimal dose.
Method: We used the method of expert consensus proposed by the French High Health Authority (HAS). It is a consensus method for writing a small number of concise, unambiguous recommendations, answering the questions asked. This method is proposed when there is a paucity of scientific argument on the subject, which is the case here.
Seven steering groups studied respectively cancer disclosure, surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapies, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and the post-cancer period. These recommendations were presented during the plenary session which brought together some fifty physicians, pharmacists, oncologists or surgeons specializing in homeopathic supportive care.
Results: Thirty recommendations were discussed, amended and unanimously adopted or not during the plenary session. Some side effects, such as fatigue for example, are common to every patient, because the effects of cancer medication are stronger than an individual’s reaction. Certain situations, however, require an individualised homeopathic consultation.
Conclusion: These recommendations are part of a program to improve good practice in supportive care. They are indicative and do not replace in any way an individualised homeopathic consultation. They are very safe to use as there are no medicine interactions and no significant side effects of homeopathic medicine. This is the first time that such an approach has been implemented in homeopathy circles. The same methodology could be used for other pathologies. Two years’ hindsight has shown that they are indeed comfortable bedfellows.
Keywords: Expert consensus, oncological supportive care, homeopathy