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Forsch Komplementmed. 2012;19(1):13-9. doi: 10.1159/000335827. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Is it possible to distinguish homeopathic aggravation from adverse effects? A qualitative study.

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1
Department of Community Medicine, National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM), University of Tromsø, Norway. trine.stub@uit.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Homeopathic aggravation is a temporary worsening of existing symptoms following the administration of a correct homeopathic prescription. The aim of this study was to explore and compose criteria that may differentiate homeopathic aggravations from adverse effects.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:

A qualitative approach was employed using focus group interviews. 2 interviews, with 11 experienced homeopaths, were performed in Oslo, Norway. The practitioners have practiced classical homeopathy over a period of 10-32 years. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the text data. The codes were defined before and during the data analysis.

RESULTS:

We found that aggravations were subtle and multifaceted events. Moreover, highly skilled homeopaths are required to identify and report aggravations. Adverse effect may be defined as an 'undesirable effect of a remedy'. This definition is pragmatic, flexible, and more in line with the holistic paradigm that the homeopaths represent. 8 criteria that distinguish aggravation from adverse effect were found. Highly sensitive persons hold a unique position regarding safety, as it is important to identify these patients in order to treat them correctly and avoid undesirable effects of the treatment.

CONCLUSION:

This study rigorously explored homeopaths' views and experience on aggravation and adverse effects. The 8 criteria developed in this study may ensure patient safety and support therapists in identifying an 'undesirable effect of a remedy'.

PMID:
22398921
DOI:
10.1159/000335827
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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