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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(4):CD003399.

Homoeopathy for induction of labour.

Author information

  • School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, City East Campus, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 5001.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This is one of series of reviews of cervical ripening and labour induction using standardised methodology. Homoeopathy involves the use, in dilution, of substances which cause symptoms in their undiluted form. A type of herb, 'caulophyllum' is one type of homoeopathic therapy that has been used to induce labour.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the effects of homoeopathy for third trimester cervical ripening or induction of labour.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

The Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group Trials Register (13 May 2003), and bibliographies of relevant papers.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Randomised controlled trials comparing homeopathy used for third trimester cervical ripening or labour induction with placebo/no treatment or other methods listed above it on a predefined list of labour induction methods.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

A generic strategy was developed to deal with the large volume and complexity of trial data relating to labour induction. This involved a two-stage method of data extraction. The initial data extraction was done centrally.

MAIN RESULTS:

Two trials involving 133 women were included in the review. The trials were placebo controlled and double blind, but the quality was not high. Insufficient information was available on the method of randomisation and the study lacked clinically meaningful outcomes. This trials demonstrated no differences in any primary or secondary outcome between the treatment and control group.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

There is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of homoeopathy as a method of induction. It is likely that the demand for complementary medicine will continue and women will continue to consult a homoeopath during their pregnancy. Although caulophyllum is a commonly used homoeopathic therapy to induce labour, the treatment strategy used in the one trial in which it was evaluated may not reflect routine homoeopathy practice. Rigorous evaluations of individualised homeopathic therapies for induction of labour are needed.

PMID:
14583972
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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