Outcome and costs of homoeopathic and conventional treatment strategies: a comparative cohort study in patients with chronic disorders

Complement Ther Med. 2005 Jun;13(2):79-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2005.03.005.


Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of homoeopathy versus conventional treatment in routine care.

Design: Comparative cohort study.

Setting: Patients with selected chronic diagnoses were enrolled in medical practice.

Interventions: Conventional treatment or homeopathy.

Outcome measures: Severity of symptoms assessed by patients and physicians (visual rating scale, 0-10) at baseline, 6 and 12 months and costs.

Results: The analyses of 493 patients (315 adults, 178 children) indicated greater improvement in patients' assessments after homoeopathic versus conventional treatment (adults: homeopathy from 5.7 to 3.2; conventional, 5.9-4.4; p=0.002; children from 5.1 to 2.6 and from 4.5 to 3.2). Physician assessments were also more favourable for children who had received homoeopathic treatment (4.6-2.0 and 3.9-2.7; p<0.001). Overall costs showed no significant differences between both treatment groups (adults, 2155 versus 2013, p=0.856; children, 1471 versus 786, p=0.137).

Conclusion: Patients seeking homoeopathic treatment had a better outcome overall compared with patients on conventional treatment, whereas total costs in both groups were similar.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease / classification
  • Chronic Disease / economics
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Homeopathy / economics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Primary Health Care / economics*
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome