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Cad Saude Publica. 2007 Aug;23(8):1903-12.

[Homeopathy in the Unified National Health System in Brazil: users' representations of homeopathic treatment].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Instituto de Sa├║de Coletiva, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brasil.


Homeopathy was officially introduced in Brazil in 1840 but was only recognized by the Federal Board of Medicine as a medical specialty in 1980. It still has a limited presence in the Unified National Health System (SUS), with only a few homeopathy services in a handful of Brazilian counties. The current study aimed to analyze National Health System users' representations of homeopathy. A case study was conducted in a health unit in Salvador, Bahia State, using a qualitative methodology. Data collection used 112 questionnaires and 19 in-depth interviews with users of homeopathy services. The study results showed that the main motivation for seeking homeopathic treatment was the failure of previous allopathic treatment. The holistic perspective, use of natural medications, longer consultations, and attentive listening to patients appeared as positive characteristics of homeopathy as compared to allopathy. The results point to the potential contribution of alternative therapeutic practices like homeopathy to the Brazilian National Health System.

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