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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2001;(4):CD003399.

Homoeopathy for induction of labour.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Adelaide University, Women's and Children's Hospital, 72 King William Road, North Adelaide, Australia, SA 5006. caroline.anne.smith@adelaide.edu.au

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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, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register and bibliographies of relevant papers. Last searched: March 2001.

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 has been 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:

One trial involving 40 women was included in the review. This trial was 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 trial demonstrated no differences in any outcome between the treatment and control group.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

There is insufficient evidence to recommend the use of caulophyllum 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 this trial may not reflect routine practice of homoeopathy. It may be more appropriate to undertake further evaluation of individualised homeopathic therapies for induction of labour in future clinical trials.

PMID:
11687203
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD003399
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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