Aim: To explore the experiences of parents who chose homeopathic treatment for their children, with particular regard to the decision-making process within the family and the availability of conventional and homeopathic healthcare services.
Methods: Semi-structured interview with parents immediately after or before the homeopathic visit at the Homeopathic Clinic of Campo di Marte Hospital of Lucca (Italy) from1st March, 2012 to 18 July 2012. Answers were analyzed by frequency of response and grouped into main areas: 1. Choice of homeopathy. 2. Intra-family dynamics. 3. Behaviour in emergency situations. 4. The relationship with the homeopathic doctor. 5. The role of friends and acquaintances. 6. The 'cut off' of use of homeopathy.
Results: Parents who choose homeopathic treatments for their children are strongly influenced by context. The choice of homeopathy is usually made by mothers and is rarely hindered by fathers, grandparents or friends, whose approval is important and encourages parents to use homeopathy for their children, both for prevention and treatment. Easy access to the homeopathic doctor was frequently requested, especially for acute situations.
Conclusion: This research confirms the importance of context in decision making processes. Other characteristics of families which use homeopathy, such as level of education, personal coping strategies and family context should be investigated.
Keywords: Children; Conflicts between parents; Decision making process; Homeopathy; Patient choice.
Copyright © 2015 The Faculty of Homeopathy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.