Background: Many patients throughout the world consult homeopathic medical doctors. Using a similar methodology as in a first survey published in 2002 a second survey was done including 919 adults receiving homeopathic treatment in six European countries and Brazil aimed to look at who are they, their reasons for consultations and expectations and satisfaction with homeopathy prescribed by a homeopathic doctor after a follow-up time of six months.
Method: An initial questionnaire included demographic information and questions for assessing health-related Quality of Life (QoL). A follow-up questionnaire collected data on changes in QoL.
Results: 77% patients had initially used conventional treatments and 23% other non-conventional treatments. Satisfaction of patients with the medical homeopathic consultation is high. The difference between the final QoL scores after six months and the baseline are positive. Reported differences between baseline and final index range from 3.87 to 10.41 depending on diagnosis. Taking 7% as a reference value for 'minimal clinically significant difference', this is reached for 3 of 8 conditions. Changes in complaint limitations visual scales are positive. Conclusions on clinical impact must be cautious. 6% of the patients experienced side-effects which they attributed to homeopathic treatment. 7.8% of the patients reported significant aggravation at the beginning of the homeopathic treatment and 26.2% slight aggravation of symptoms.
Conclusions: The satisfaction of patients using a medical homeopathic approach is linked to the perceived competence of the doctor homeopath, the perceived improvement of the main complaints limitations and the time dedicated to them by the doctor.
Keywords: Homeopathy; Prospective survey; Quality of Life evaluation.
Copyright © 2014 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.