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Influence of Adjunctive Classical Homeopathy on Global Health Status and Subjective Well-Being in Cancer Patients: A Pragmatic Randomized Controlled Trial
05 February 2018 (online)
Background: The use of complementary and alternative medicine has increased over the past decade.
Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether homeopathy influenced global health status and subjective well-being when used as an adjunct to conventional cancer therapy.
Method: In this pragmatic randomized controlled trial, 410 patients, who were treated by standard anti-neoplastic therapy, were randomized to receive or not to receive classical homeopathic adjunctive therapy in addition to standard therapy. The study took place in the Clinical Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine I at the Medical University of Vienna.
The main outcome measures were global health status and subjective well-being as assessed by the patients. At each of the three visits (one baseline, two follow-up visits), patients filled in two different questionnaires.
Results: Three hundred and seventy-three patients yielded at least one of three measurements. The improvement in global health status between visits 1 and 3 was significantly stronger in the homeopathy group by 7.7 (95% CI: 2.3–13.0, p = 0.005) when compared with the control group. A significant group difference was also observed with respect to subjective well-being by 14.7 (95% CI: 8.5–21.0, p < 0.001) in favor of the homeopathic as compared with the control group. Control patients showed a significant improvement only in subjective well-being between their first and third visits.
Conclusion: Results suggest that the global health status and subjective well-being of cancer patients improve significantly when classical homeopathic treatment is administered in addition to conventional therapy.
Keywords: Oncology, pragmatic randomized controlled trial, global health status