Health Technology Assessment of Homeopathy in Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis: Comparison with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs


Background: Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease in humans, which is the greatest cause of physical disability among the elderly in developed countries. Homeopathy is a specific therapy that treats patients based on precise stimulation of the immune and vital systems by certain homeopathy medications. Given the widespread use of this technology, in this article, we compared homeopathy Health Technology with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Methods: In this study, Health Technology Assessment (HTA) was employed to compare homeopathy treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), by reviewing clinical trials. The study population included patients with knee osteoarthritis; the intervention group included homeopathy, and the control group comprised routine medical treatment (NSAID) and outcomes measured included efficacy, safety, and cost effectiveness. The most important electronic medical databases were searched for relevant articles published from 2000 to 2016, including The Cochrane Library, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL); Center for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York (CRD; NHS EED), Trip; PubMed; EMBASE and Google Scholar. Results: Effectiveness was measured by indicators of pain and motor function. Total changes in VAS index revealed about 34 units decrease in the intervention group, while there was 12 units reduction in the control group. Reducing the consequences of pain and knee function problems were 10 points more in the intervention group in comparison to the control group. Safety outcomes were measured via skin reactions (and sensitivity) which were lower in the intervention group. In terms of cost-effectiveness, the results revealed that for each unit of pain relief, more cost was spent in homeopathy method. Conclusion: Given that the overall costs of both treatments were low, even with the higher effectiveness and safety of homeopathy treatment, compared with NSAIDs, homeopathy is preferable

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