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Systematic reviews of complementary therapies – an annotated bibliography. Part 3: Homeopathy

Linde, K., Hondras, M., Vickers, A., ter Riet, G. and Melchart, D. (2001) Systematic reviews of complementary therapies – an annotated bibliography. Part 3: Homeopathy. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. ISSN 1472-6882

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Abstract

Background Complementary therapies are widespread but controversial. We aim to provide a comprehensive collection and a summary of systematic reviews of clinical trials in three major complementary therapies (acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy). This article is dealing with homeopathy. Potentially relevant reviews were searched through the register of the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field, the Cochrane Library, Medline, and bibliographies of articles and books. To be included articles had to review prospective clinical trials of homeopathy; had to describe review methods explicitly; had to be published; and had to focus on treatment effects. Information on conditions, interventions, methods, results and conclusions was extracted using a pretested form and summarized descriptively. Results Eighteen out of 22 potentially relevant reviews preselected in the screening process met the inclusion criteria. Six reviews addressed the question whether homeopathy is effective across conditions and interventions. The majority of available trials seem to report positive results but the evidence is not convincing. For isopathic nosodes for allergic conditions, oscillococcinum for influenza-like syndromes and galphimia for pollinosis the evidence is promising while in other areas reviewed the results are equivocal. Interpretation Reviews on homeopathy often address general questions. While the evidence is promising for some topics the findings of the available reviews are unlikely to end the controversy on this therapy.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2001 Linde et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL.
Academic Units: The University of York > Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (York)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2006
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2013 14:35
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-1-4
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1040

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