Source : Scuola Superiore di Studi Universitari e Perfezionamento Sant’Anna di Pisa, Italy.
To test a methodology to evaluate, at population level, the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment through standard objective public health indicators. METHODS AND SETTINGS: Indicators of hospitalization and drug use were obtained from the Health Statistical Documentation System of Tuscany for two homeopathic centers in the Local Health Authority of Pisa, Italy. We compared homeopathic users with the general population in the same area and by comparing patients before and after homeopathic treatment.
The homeopathic patients used less drugs than the reference population, this effect was more evident for patients with repeated homeopathic consultations. A significant decrease in drug use was found on comparing the same patients before and after homeopathic treatment. Hospitalization indicators tended to favour patients who had received homeopathic treatment but were not always statistically significant.
This paper demonstrates a new methodological approach to assess the effectiveness of a therapeutic modality, without ad-hoc clinical trials. This methodology can be used by public health institutions in which non-conventional medicines are integrated into the public health care system.