Characteristics of visitors to practitioners of homeopathy in a large adult Norwegian population (the HUNT 3 study)

Homeopathy. 2012 Jul;101(3):175-81. doi: 10.1016/j.homp.2012.05.004.


Objectives: The aim was to investigate characteristics of female and male visitors to practitioners of homeopathy in a large adult population in Norway.

Methods: A cross-sectional adult total population health survey from Central Norway (the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study--HUNT 3) conducted in 2008. Variables included demographics, lifestyle, health status and health care use. Multivariate logistic regression models were employed to analyse the data.

Results: In total 50,827 participated (54% of the total population). The prevalence of visits to practitioners of homeopathy was 1.3%, a decline from 4.3% 10 years earlier. Both female and male visitors were 4-5 times more likely to experience recent somatic complaints. Further, female visitors were characterised by higher education, non-smoking, more chronic complaints, and visiting a physician or a chiropractor the past year whereas male visitors were characterised by seeking help for psychiatric complaints and visiting a chiropractor. There were no associations of age, marital status, physical activity, perceived global health, respiratory, skin, or musculoskeletal diseases with visiting practitioners of homeopathy. CONCLUSIONS AND PROPOSALS: There has been a marked decline in visits to practitioners of homeopathy. The results indicate a change in reasons to consult from complaints that influences the visitors' global health to less chronic complaints. Further research should compare changes in visits complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners and the characteristics of visitors to practitioners of homeopathy to characteristics of other CAM visitors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Homeopathy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway