Impact of Homeopathic Treatment on the Quality of Life of Women with Chronic Diseases: A Randomized Controlled Pragmatic TrialFunding This study was funded by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico.
Background Despite the increasing demand for complementary and integrative medicine, only a few studies have evaluated the effect of these types of treatments on the quality of life (QoL) of patients with chronic diseases. The objective of this study was to evaluate the QoL of women treated with homeopathy within the Public Health System of Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Methods This is a prospective randomized controlled pragmatic trial. The patients were divided into two independent groups, one group underwent homeopathic treatment in the first 6-month period and the other did not receive any homeopathic treatment. In both randomized groups, patients maintained their conventional medical treatment when necessary. The World Health Organization Quality of Life abbreviated questionnaire (WHOQOL-BREF) was used for QoL analysis prior to treatment and 6 months later.
Results Randomization afforded similar baseline results in three domains of QoL analysis for both groups. After 6 months' treatment, there was a statistically significant difference between groups in the physical domain of WHOQOL-BREF: the average score improved to 63.6 ± (SD) 15.8 in the homeopathy group, compared with 53.1 ± (SD) 16.7 in the control group.
Conclusions Homeopathic treatment showed a positive impact at 6 months on the QoL of women with chronic diseases. Further studies should be performed to determine the long-term effects of homeopathic treatment on QoL and its determinant factors.
Keywordscomplementary and integrative medicine - homeopathy - quality of life - randomized controlled trial
• A randomized pragmatic trial was performed to evaluate quality of life (QoL) of patients with chronic diseases treated with homeopathy in the Brazilian Public Health System.
• There was a positive impact of homeopathy on QoL, demonstrated after 6 months of treatment by a significantly greater improvement of the physical domain of the WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire compared with controls.
• These improvements are consistent with the finding of a better perception of health in patients treated with homeopathy than in control-group individuals.
Received: 02 March 2020
Accepted: 30 August 2020
04 March 2021 (online)
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