Is homeopathy effective for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder? A meta-analysis

Pediatr Res. 2022 Jun 14. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02127-3. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Background: Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) prevalence is increasing, compliance to treatment is often poor, and additional treatment options are warranted. We aim to investigate whether individualized homeopathic treatment is effective in children with ADHD when compared to placebo or usual care alone.

Methods: Thirty-seven online sources were searched with a last update in March 2021. Studies investigating the effects of individualized homeopathy against any control in ADHD (ICD-10 category F90.0) were eligible. Data were extracted to a predefined excel sheet independently by two reviewers.

Results: Six studies were analyzed. All but one were randomized and showed low-to-moderate risk of bias; two were controlled against standard treatment and four were placebo-controlled and double-blinded. The meta-analysis revealed a significant effect size across studies of Hedges' g = 0.542 (95% CI 0.311-0.772; z = 4,61; p < 0.001) against any control and of g = 0.605 (95% CI 0.05-1.16; z = 2.16, p = 0.03) against placebo (n = 4). The effect estimations are based on studies with an average sample size of 52 participants.

Conclusions: Individualized homeopathy showed a clinically relevant and statistically robust effect in the treatment of ADHD.

Impact: This paper summarizes the current evidence of individualized homeopathy in attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the results show a clinical improvement for patients receiving this additional treatment. Individualized homeopathy has shown evidence of effectiveness in the treatment of ADHD in several small trials, this is the first systematic review and meta-analysis. This data may encourage caregivers to consider co-treatment or referral to individualized homeopathy when treating childhood ADHD.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review