Outcome-Specific Review of Controlled Clinical Studies with Homeopathic Medicines
05 February 2020 (online)
Background: Though there exists a considerable number of systematic reviews of clinical homeopathy studies, they are limited regarding literature sources and study type. Furthermore, a comprehensive update is needed.
Aim: The aim was to conduct an extensive systematic review focusing on the investigated indications and outcomes of the original studies in order to provide a clear view of the existing evidence for each particular indication, to reveal academic voids and to enhance the applicability of the results for therapeutic practice.
Method: In addition to available studies from previous reviews, an extended literature search was conducted considering also ‘grey’ literature (e.g. theses, conference proceedings). Six medical databases (Medline, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, SCOPUS, Science Citation Index Expanded and LILACS), four databases for complementary medicine (CORE-Hom and CAM-Quest®, AMED and CINAHL), as well as 25 databases for theses and dissertations, were searched and complemented by manual references. Search limits were set from 01.01.1980 to 30.06.2017. The study records were managed by means of the citation manager Endnote® and were transferred into a previously piloted and standardized data-handling template (Excel®). Publication type, study aims and target population, study design, sample size and outcomes, as well as intervention details such as potencies, dosage, type of homeopathy and comparator, were extracted from the included reports.
Results: 600 original studies in 202 medical conditions could be included in the review. For 52 conditions, at least two controlled studies for the same homeopathic intervention could be identified. They will be presented, using tables for the different clinical indications, and discussed regarding the study details (e.g. design, sample size, homeopathic method).
Keywords: Review, research methodology, clinical practice