Notizia, adattamento e commento a cura di Andrea Valeri, responsabile del Dipartimento di ricerca clinica della Società Italiana di Medicina Omeopatica. firstname.lastname@example.org
BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 Mar 2;7:7.
Homeopathic and conventional treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints:
a comparative study on outcome in the primary care setting.
Haidvogl M, Riley DS, Heger M, Brien S, Jong M, Fischer M, Lewith GT, Jansen G,
Thurneysen AE. Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Homeopathy, Graz, Austria.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of homeopathy
compared to conventional treatment in acute respiratory and ear complaints in a
primary care setting. METHODS: The study was designed as an international,
multi-centre, comparative cohort study of non-randomised design. Patients,
presenting themselves with at least one chief complaint: acute (< or = 7 days)
runny nose, sore throat, ear pain, sinus pain or cough, were recruited at 57
primary care practices in Austria (8), Germany (8), the Netherlands (7), Russia
(6), Spain (6), Ukraine (4), United Kingdom (10) and the USA (8) and given
either homeopathic or conventional treatment. Therapy outcome was measured by
using the response rate, defined as the proportion of patients experiencing
'complete recovery' or 'major improvement' in each treatment group. The primary
outcome criterion was the response rate after 14 days of therapy. RESULTS: Data
of 1,577 patients were evaluated in the full analysis set of which 857 received
homeopathic (H) and 720 conventional (C) treatment. The majority of patients in
both groups reported their outcome after 14 days of treatment as complete
recovery or major improvement (H: 86.9%; C: 86.0%; p = 0.0003 for
non-inferiority testing). In the per-protocol set (H: 576 and C: 540 patients)
similar results were obtained (H: 87.7%; C: 86.9%; p = 0.0019). Further subgroup
analysis of the full analysis set showed no differences of response rates after
14 days in children (H: 88.5%; C: 84.5%) and adults (H: 85.6%; C: 86.6%). The
unadjusted odds ratio (OR) of the primary outcome criterion was 1.40 (0.89-2.22)
in children and 0.92 (0.63-1.34) in adults. Adjustments for demographic
differences at baseline did not significantly alter the OR. The response rates
after 7 and 28 days also showed no significant differences between both
However, onset of improvement within the first 7 days after
treatment was significantly faster upon homeopathic treatment both in children
(p = 0.0488) and adults (p = 0.0001).
Adverse drug reactions occurred more
frequently in adults of the conventional group than in the homeopathic group (C:
7.6%; H: 3.1%, p = 0.0032), whereas in children the occurrence of adverse drug
reactions was not significantly different (H: 2.0%; C: 2.4%, p = 0.7838).
CONCLUSION: In primary care, homeopathic treatment for acute respiratory and ear
complaints was not inferior to conventional treatment.
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