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Homeopathy in the Treatment of Mental and Behavioural Disorders: A Bibliometric Analysis of Published Case Reports
05 February 2018 (online)
Background: The treatment of mental and behavioral disorders (MBDs) is a challenge for all healthcare systems. Studies suggest that homeopathic treatment is potentially beneficial in the treatment of such diseases. While clinical research on this topic has been conducted in the past, a systematic investigation of case reports has not been done so far.
Aim: We aimed at illuminating the practice of treatment of MBDs in published case reports by means of a bibliometric analysis.
Materials and Methods: We searched the journal “Allgemeine Homöopathische Zeitung” for published case reports between 1950 and 2015. Relevant treatment data (Patient data, Diagnoses, Remedy, Potency) and bibliographical data (Length and quality of article) were extracted for every single case. Moreover, the quality was rated based on the CARE guidelines. Data were analyzed over the course of time using univariate statistics.
Results: One hundred and sixty-seven case reports (56.9% female patients, mean age: 31.6–23.2 years) were included in this analysis. The majority of patients (28.7%) reported on neurotic disorders (F40–49) followed by affective disorders (F30–39: 21.0%) and behavioral and emotional disorders with onset usually occurring in childhood and adolescence (F90-F98; 19.8%). Single case descriptions increased both with respect to page size (5.1 pages between 1950 and 1988 to 6.3 pages after 2010) and quality (CARE index 8.1 between 1950 and 1988 to 10.5 after 2010). No differences in trend, however, were found with respect to the use of high (83.2% in total) versus low potencies (p = 0.16) and with respect to the origin of the remedies (p = 0.70; mineral: 38.9%, herbal: 43.1%, animal: 9.6%, others: 8.4% in total).
Discussion: Our review documents the use of homeopathic therapy in a broad range of indications. This collection thus may serve as a starting point for the conduction of larger observation studies and clinical trials of homeopathy in the field of MBDs.
Keywords: Mental and behavioral disorders, bibliometric analysis, case reports