The importance of case histories for accepting and improving homeopathy

Complement Ther Med. 2013 Dec;21(6):565-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.10.001. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Abstract

Case histories are necessary besides other types of evidence to convince doctors of a specific type action of homeopathic medicines. Prognosis of treatment does not merely depend on efficacy. Some considerations based on consensus meetings about best cases and prospective research into the relationship between symptoms and result. Many data in homeopathic literature are unreliable because of wrong interpretation, insufficient numbers and confirmation bias. Causal relationship between medicine and 'cure' could be documented better. Extraordinary cases are not helpful to increase reproducibility.

Conclusion: For acceptance and improvement of homeopathy cases should be reproducible. 'Normal' cases reflecting daily practice contribute more to this goal than extraordinary cases. Accuracy can be increased by larger samples of comparable cases. Causal relationship between medicine and improvement should be further explored.

Keywords: Bayes’ theorem; Case history; Homeopathy.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research
  • Homeopathy / methods*
  • Homeopathy / standards
  • Humans
  • Medical Records*
  • Reproducibility of Results