Use of Self-Medication with Homeopathy in Germany: Results of an Online Questionnaire Survey

Complement Med Res. 2018;25(6):383-390. doi: 10.1159/000485077. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Abstract

Background: Little is known about self-medication with homeopathic drugs in Germany. The aim of this study was to gain information about users, sources of information and the selection process of the drugs.

Methods: An online questionnaire survey among users of self-medication with homeopathy was conducted via social media and email newsletters.

Results: A total of 665 users who responded to the questionnaire were included. Most of the respondents were women (92%) in their mid-forties with high educational status. In total, 43% of the participants reported a household member working in the health sector. Books (65%) and Internet (47%) were the most common sources of information. Consultations in pharmacies - with a mean duration of 10 min - were likely to be used (60%). Homeopathic drugs were mainly used in the potency D12 (55%), for a duration of 5 days, 3 times daily, with 5 globules. Homeopathic drugs were mainly used due to good therapeutic experiences in the past (82%). Indications for use were acute diseases (91%), particularly colds (86%), as well as chronic diseases (51%) and prevention (47%). The selection of a homeopathic drug took the participants 25 min on average.

Conclusion: Homeopathic self-medication is understood by users as a resource to regain, maintain, and promote health. Further research about the quality and applicability of information for homeopathic self-medication is necessary.

Keywords: Homeopathic drug; Homeopathic medicines; Homeopathy; Self-medication; Use.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Germany
  • Homeopathy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Materia Medica / therapeutic use
  • Patient Medication Knowledge / statistics & numerical data
  • Self Medication / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Substances

  • Materia Medica