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Is homeopathic treatment more effective than giving time and attention to NHS patients with chronic complaints

Peckham, Emily Jane (2012) Is homeopathic treatment more effective than giving time and attention to NHS patients with chronic complaints. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

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Many people seek individualised homeopathic treatment, however its use remains controversial. There have been suggestions that any improvement of the symptoms of those seeking individualised homeopathic treatment is solely down to the time and attention given to the patient by the homeopath. This aim of this thesis is to explore the question “is homeopathic treatment involving a homeopathic consultation and a homeopathic remedy any different to spending time with an empathetic practitioner, in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome?” This study involved a systematic review of homeopathic treatment for irritable bowel syndrome and a randomised controlled trial comparing individualised homeopathic treatment to supportive listening and usual care. The primary outcome measure was the change in irritable bowel symptom severity score at 26 weeks. Differences between the three arms were assessed using independent t-tests and ANCOVA. A qualitative study nested within the randomised controlled trial involved qualitative interviews with a proportion of the participants in both the homeopathic treatment and supportive listening arms. This was to explore participants’ experiences of the treatment they received, and what, if anything about the treatment they felt led to any improvements. The systematic review of homeopathic treatment for irritable bowel syndrome identified two eligible RCTs, a meta-analysis of the results of these trials indicated a benefit of homeopathic treatment over placebo. However the results of this review should be viewed with caution as it is possible that there was a degree of bias associated with these two trials. In the randomised controlled trial, no significant differences were found between homeopathic treatment and supportive listening, when using t-tests or ANCOVA to compare mean change in IBS-SSS between baseline and 26 weeks. The qualitative interviews identified four different typologies that explained what patients believed to have led to changes in their general health and/or irritable bowel symptoms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-273-0
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Healthcare (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.570099
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2013 09:17
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3910

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