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Eur Psychiatry. 2013 Feb;28(2):110-6. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2011.10.005. Epub 2011 Dec 6.

Characteristics associated with use of homeopathic drugs for psychiatric symptoms in the general population.

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Université Victor-Segalen-Bordeaux-2, 33076 Bordeaux, France; Inserm, U 657, 33076 Bordeaux, France.



To explore which patient characteristics are associated in naturalistic conditions with the lifetime use of homeopathic treatment for psychiatric symptoms.


Lifetime use of psychotropic treatment was explored in a sample of 36,785 persons, participating in the Mental Health Survey in the General Population. Characteristics associated with use of homeopathic treatments, associated or not with conventional psychotropic drugs, were explored using multivariate analyses.


Use of homeopathic treatment for psychiatric symptoms was reported by 1.3% of persons. Younger age, female gender and high educational level were associated with use of homeopathy. Half of homeopathy users presented at least one Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) diagnosis, most frequently anxiety disorders. Their diagnostic profile was similar to that of persons reporting use of anxiolytics or hypnotics. Compared to persons with no lifetime use of psychotropic drugs, persons using homeopathy were more likely to present with a diagnosis of mood disorder or anxiety disorder. Compared to those using conventional psychotropic drugs, they presented less frequently with psychiatric disorders, with the exception of anxiety disorders.


Homeopathic treatment for psychiatric symptoms appears to be used mainly to reduce anxiety symptoms in the general population.

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