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A systematic review of homeopathic pathogenetic trials

By Jim Rogers


0-090 Homeopathy, used by 500 million\ud people worldwide according to the\ud WHO, remains controversial. Provings,\ud now known as Homeopathic\ud Pathogenetic Trials ( HPTs) remain\ud one of the foundation stones of Homeopathy.\ud They involve the administration\ud of substances in Homeopathic\ud dilutions to groups of healthy people\ud with the aim of producing pathogenic\ud symptoms. This is the first review of\ud HPTs which meet modern standards\ud for trial design. A systematic review\ud was undertaken, using MEDLINE,\ud AMED, EMBASE , CINAHL, and\ud HOMINFORM. From 503 papers, 11\ud papers covering 15 trials met the full\ud inclusion criteria. The aim was to assess\ud whether Homeopathic substances\ud could produce symptoms different\ud from those produced by placebo. Trials\ud took place in different countries\ud using different medicines. Outcomes\ud were assessed by structured and\ud unstructured diaries and questionnaires.\ud Statistical meta-analysis was possible\ud for two of the outcome measures: 1.\ud A comparison of the level of symptoms\ud pre-defined as typical of the\ud trial medicine across the verum and\ud placebo group and 2.A comparison of\ud overall proving reactions in the two\ud groups. No significant differences\ud were found.\ud All of the included trials were of good\ud methodological quality in terms of\ud standard RCT design. However they\ud all shared a major weakness in relation\ud to homeopathic theory. The theory\ud suggests that only susceptible individuals\ud will respond to a particular\ud medicine, whether in clinical practice\ud or in a pathogenetic trial, and that the\ud percentage of individuals who are susceptible\ud will be small. For such trials\ud participants should first be screened\ud for susceptibility before randomisation\ud into the main trial. Otherwise\ud trials are likely to show no difference\ud between verum and placebo groups\ud since the level of symptoms produced\ud by placebo is always significant and\ud is unlikely to be less than any real\ud pathogenetic effects produced by the\ud medicine in the small percentage of\ud trial participants who are susceptible.\ud Presenter: Jim Rogers Senior Lecture

Topics: B390 Complementary Medicine not elsewhere classified
Publisher: ICCMR 2010 5th International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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