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BMC Ear Nose Throat Disord. 2009 Jul 27;9:7. doi: 10.1186/1472-6815-9-7.

Homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic sinusitis: A prospective observational study with 8 years follow-up.

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1
Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Centre, D-10098 Berlin, Germany. claudia.witt@charite.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

An evaluation of homeopathic treatment and the outcomes in patients suffering from sinusitis for >or=12 weeks in a usual care situation.

METHODS:

Subgroup analysis including all patients with chronic sinusitis (ICD-9: 473.9; >or=12 weeks duration) of a large prospective multicentre observational study population. Consecutive patients presenting for homeopathic treatment were followed-up for 2 years, and complaint severity, health-related quality of life (QoL), and medication use were regularly recorded. We also present here patient-reported health status 8 years post initial treatment.

RESULTS:

The study included 134 adults (mean age 39.8 +/- 10.4 years, 76.1% women), treated by 62 physicians. Patients had suffered from chronic sinusitis for 10.7 +/- 9.8 years. Almost all patients (97.0%) had previously been treated with conventional medicine. For sinusitis, effect size (effect divided by standard deviation at baseline) of complaint severity was 1.58 (95% CI 1.77; 1.40), 2.15 (2.38; 1.92), and 2.43 (2.68; 2.18) at 3, 12, and 24 months respectively. QoL improved accordingly, with SF-36 changes in physical component score 0.27 (0.15; 0.39), 0.35 (0.19; 0.52), 0.44 (0.23; 0.65) and mental component score 0.66 (0.49; 0.84), 0.71 (0.50; 0.92), 0.65 (0.39; 0.92), 0.74 (0.49; 1.00) at these points. The effects were still present after 8 years with SF-36 physical component score 0.38 (0.10; 0.65) and mental component score 0.74 (0.49; 1.00).

CONCLUSION:

This observational study showed relevant improvements that persisted for 8 years in patients seeking homeopathic treatment because of sinusitis. The extent to which the observed effects are due to the life-style regulation and placebo or context effects associated with the treatment needs clarification in future explanatory studies.

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