Pediatric homeopathy: a prospective observational survey based on parent proxy-reports of their children's health-related Quality of Life in six European countries and Brazil

Homeopathy. 2014 Oct;103(4):257-63. doi: 10.1016/j.homp.2014.05.003. Epub 2014 Jun 25.

Abstract

Background: Many European citizens regularly consult homeopathic doctors. Especially for children there is very little data available about the reasons they visit a homeopathic doctor. What are the expectations of the parents consulting a Homeopath MD with their child, who are they and last but not least are they satisfied with their initiative? This study including 773 children from six European countries and Brazil is aimed to look at parent-proxy satisfaction with homeopathic treatment prescribed for their children by a homeopathic doctor after a follow-up of two months. The questionnaire was developed from the methodology used in a survey of adults published in 2002.

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: The demographic characteristics of respondents showed more male children (53.1%) but more female parent-proxies (93.4%). 73.7% of respondents had previously tried conventional treatments; 26.3% non-conventional approaches. Satisfaction with the medical homeopathic consultation was high. Reported differences between baseline and final QoL ondexes are positive for all four studied conditions. It range from 3.206 to 10.188. Considering 7% as a reference value for "minimal clinical difference", this is reached for 2 on 4 conditions (8.473 and 10.188). Changes in complaint limitations visual scales are positive, even if uncertain for skin complaints and influenced parents satisfaction. Conclusions on clinical impact must be cautious. 4.2% of patients experienced side-effects which they attribute to homeopathic treatment. 10.1% of patients reported significant aggravation at the beginning of homeopathic treatment, 19% slight aggravation of symptoms.

Conclusions: The satisfaction of parents using a medical homeopathic approach for their children is linked to the perceived competence of the doctor homeopath, the perceived improvement of the main complaint limitations and the completeness of the received information.

Keywords: Children; Homeopathy; Parent-proxy quality of live evaluation; Prospective survey.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Competence
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Homeopathy / psychology*
  • Homeopathy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires