Responses to homeopathic treatment in National Health Service general practice

Homeopathy. 2006 Jan;95(1):9-14. doi: 10.1016/j.homp.2005.11.013.


Objective: To assess homeopathic consultations in NHS general practice over a 12-month study period; to analyse the conditions treated homeopathically and assess the responses to homeopathy prescribed in a standard 10 min GP consultation.

Methods: Data on each homeopathic consultation over 12 months were recorded: including patient details; condition/diagnosis; response score; prescribed medicine; prescribing strategy; medical specialty category. Clinical response was scored using a modified version of the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital Outcome Scale.

Results: Over the 12-month study period, a total of 5,331 consultations were conducted within the general practice; 489 (9%) of these consultations were homeopathic. A wide variety of conditions were treated homeopathically, 78% of patients had a positive clinical response, 19% no response, 3% negative response. Analysis of the prescribing strategies demonstrated that 73% of the homeopathic prescriptions were issued using the 'problem-based' strategy. The remainder were 'patient-based' (19%), 'context-based' (4%) and 'combined' (4%) strategies.

Conclusions: This study illustrates the varied and successful application of homeopathy within the general practice setting. Response scores reveal the beneficial effects of homeopathic treatment. This study supports the use of homeopathy within NHS general practice, delivered in a 10 min consultation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Family Practice / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Homeopathy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Health Programs
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology