Homeopathy 2003; 92(01): 3-10
DOI: 10.1054/homp.2002.0068
Original Paper
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2003

Users of homeopaths in Norway in 1998, compared to previous users and GP patients

A Steinsbekk
1   Department of Community Medicine and General Practice, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway
V Fønnebø
2   National Centre for Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, University of Tromsø Norway
› Author Affiliations

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

Received13 May 2002
revised01 July 2002

accepted28 October 2002

Publication Date:
27 December 2017 (online)


Aim: Homeopathy is the form of complementary medicine most frequently used in Norway. This study describes complaints and characteristics of patients who visited Norwegian homeopaths in 1998, comparing them with those who visited homeopaths in 1985 and general practice patients.

Methods: We conducted a survey of 1097 patients visiting 80 Norwegian homeopaths in 1998 and compared them with a similar survey in 1985 (1072 consultations) and a 1989 survey of general practice patients (90 458 consultations).

Results: One in four of patients visiting homeopaths in 1998 were children between 0 and 9 years of age, compared to one in ten in 1985 and in general practice. Almost half of the patients in 1998 had used prescription drugs provided by a medical doctor the previous month for the same complaints they presented to the homeopath. In 1998 patients sought homeopathy most often because of respiratory and skin complaints. In 1985 the most common reasons were musculo-skeletal and digestive problems. Four of the five commonest reasons for encounter in homeopathic practice in 1998 were also found among the five commonest reasons for general practice consultations.

Conclusion: Patients currently visiting homeopaths differ in age and to some extent in complaints compared to previous users of homeopathy and general practice patients.

  • References

  • 1 Swayne JM. Survey of the use of homeopathic medicine in the UK health system. J R Coll Gen Pract 1989; 329: 503-506.
  • 2 Jansen GR, Koster TG. Complaints and diagnoses in homoeopathic practice: a tentative stock-taking. Br Hom J 1995; 84: 140-143.
  • 3 Anelli M, Scheepers L, Sermeus G, Van Wassenhoven M. Homeopathy and health related quality of life: a survey in six European countries. Homeopathy 2002; 91: 18-21.
  • 4 Jacobs J, Chapman EH, Crothers D. Patient characteristics and practice patterns of physicians using homeopathy. Arch Fam Med 1998; 7: 537-540.
  • 5 Goldstein MS, Glik D. Use of and satisfaction with homeopathy in a patient population. Altern Ther Health Med 1998; 4: 60-65.
  • 6 Walach H, Guthlin C. Effects of acupuncture and homeopathy: prospective documentation. Interim results. Br Hom J 2000; 89: S31.4, S31.S34.
  • 7 Lærum E, Borchgrevink CF, Wiens G. [Who goes to the homeopath? Why, with which complaints and what is done?] ‘Hvem går til homøopat?’. Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 1985; 105: 2478-2482.
  • 8 Straumsheim PA. Pasientregistrering. Del 1. Dynamis 1992; 3: 18-20.
  • 9 Norges Offentlige Utredninger, Oslo, Statens trykning, Statens forvaltningstjeneste, 1998.
  • 10 Statistisk sentralbyrå, Helseundersøkelsen 1975, Oslo, Statistisk sentralbyrå, 1977.
  • 11 Statistisk sentralbyrå, Helseundersøkelsen 1985, Oslo, Statistisk sentralbyrå, 1987.
  • 12 Statistisk sentralbyrå, Helseundersøkelsen 1995, Oslo, Statistisk sentralbyrå, 1997.
  • 13 Christie VM. Den andre Medisinen. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget; 1991.
  • 14 European Council for Classical Homeopathy, Education Guidelines, European Council for Classical Homeopathy, Kenninghall, http://www.homeopathy.-ecch.org./ECCH._Education._Guidelines.pdf.
  • 15 Steinsbekk A, Fønnebø V. Homøopaters praksis. En spørreundersøkelse om økonomi antall pasienter og tidsbruk. Dynamis 1999; 4: 12-18.
  • 16 Epi Info v 6, http://www.cdc.gov./epiinfo./, 2002.
  • 17 SPSS for Windows v 10,0, http://www.spss.com.2002.
  • 18 Kirkwood BR. Essentials of Medical Statistics. London: Blackwell Science; 1998.
  • 19 Rokstad K, Straand J, Sandvik H. [Patient encounters in general practice. An epidemiological survey in More and Romsdal] Pasientkontakter i allmennpraksis. Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 1997; 117: 659-664.
  • 20 [Labour Market Statistics 1985]. Oslo: Norges offisielle statistikk; 1986.
  • 21 [Labour Market Statistics 1995]. Oslo: Norges offisielle statistikk; 1997.
  • 22 Classification Committee of WONCA, ICHPPC-2-defined, (international classification of health problems in primary care) / prepared by the Classification Committee of WONCA (World Organization of National Colleges, Academies, and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1983.
  • 23 Grimsmo A, Grimstad SA, Lilleholt O, Snoen SE, Storset B. [Information for quality assurance and self-evaluation in general practice. Use of data from the EDP medical records in general practice] Informasjon til planlegging og sammenligning i kommunene. Bruk av data fra EDB-journalen i allmennpraksis. Tidskr Nor Lægeforen 1994; 114: 977-982.
  • 24 Claussen B, Famm E, Nygård JF. [ICPC diagnoses in 60 offices of general practitioners] ICPC-diagnoser i 60 allmennpraksiser. Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen 1994; 114: 821-824.
  • 25 Steinsbekk A. Alternativ Medisin, en Institusjon i Norge?. Trondheim: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU); 2000.
  • 26 Statistisk sentralbyrå, F, Alfabetisk yrkesregister, 1981, Oslo, Statistisk sentralbyrå.
  • 27 MauriceWood, Hank Lamberts. ICPC, international classification of primary care/prepared for the World Organisation of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians (WONCA) by the ICPC Working Party, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1987.