Homeopathic practitioner views of changes in patients undergoing constitutional treatment for chronic disease

Author: Bell IR//Koithan M//Gorman MM//Baldwin CM
Program in Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85724-5153, USA. ibell@u.arizona.edu
Conference/Journal: J Altern Complement Med
Date published: 2003
Other: Volume ID: 9 , Issue ID: 1 , Pages: 39-50 , Word Count: 224

OBJECTIVES: To identify areas that classical homeopathic practitioners would want to see evaluated in a patient self-report questionnaire sensitive to change during constitutional treatment. DESIGN: Open-ended, written practitioner questionnaire, analyzed using inductive content analysis. SETTINGS/LOCATION: Two classical homeopathic meetings held in the western United States. SUBJECTS: Homeopathic practitioners attending the above professional meetings and volunteering to complete the questionnaire in response to announcements prior to sessions. DATA COLLECTION METHODS: Practitioners completed a demographic questionnaire and answered an open-ended question inquiring for changes about which to ask people undergoing classical homeopathic constitutional treatment. RESULTS: The categories that the 38 homeopaths identified included changes in: (1) emotions; (2) mentation; (3) specific physical functioning; (4) general physical changes; (5) perception of self; (6) relationships; (7) spirituality; (8) lifestyle; (9) energy; (10) dream content and tone; (11) well-being; (12) perceptions by others; (13) life relationships; (14) a sense of freedom or feeling less 'stuck'; (15) sleep; (16) coping; (17) ability to adapt; (18) creativity; and (19) recall of past experiences. Sixteen percent (16%) of participants added more in-depth description of the nature of changes across categories (i.e., a rhythmical process of innovation and flux). CONCLUSIONS: The findings are consistent with the systemic orientation of classical homeopathic philosophy to evaluate and treat the patient as a whole. Taken together, the results support the need for development of new, multidimensional outcome measures for clinical research in homeopathy beyond the disease-specific and health-related quality-of-life scales available from conventional medical research.