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Visit ECCH on Facebook Latest News:22 April 2013
International Journal of Clinical Practice (IJCP) lowers standards - Part 2
We have been informed by the authors Tournier et al that the full text of their critical letter of response to the original article is now available in pdf from the following link:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijcp.12138/abstract15 April 2013International Journal of Clinical Practice (IJCP) lowers standards
It seems when it comes to homeopathy established journals are ready to lower standards in order to publish negative research information about it - when it comes to positive research articles about homeopathy they are peculiarly resistant to publication at all. e.g. an astounding piece of epidemiological research showing the successful use of a homeopathic preparation in the prevention of seasonally epidemic leptospirosis in a population of 2.5 million in Cuba was refused publication in standard journals and was eventually published in 'Homeopathy' http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20674839
The International Journal of Clinical Practice has, in our view, lowered the standards of peer-reviewed scientific journalism with the publication of "Adverse effects of homeopathy: a systematic review of published case reports and case series' by Posadzki, I Alotaibi and E. Ernst in November 2013. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijcp.12026/abstract
The article was provided 'open access' enabling it to be as widely distributed and read as possible. To be blunt, in our view the article is an extremely poor piece of academic research work and it is difficult to understand how it got through the peer-review process of the IJCP - unless there were no peer-reviewers with an academic background in homeopathy involved in the review and/or the editor took a 'publish and be damned' attitude.
Along with a number of other authors, ECCH wrote to the IJCP raising a number of concerns about the content of the review. (As the IJCP chose not to publish it, our letter is appended at the end of this editorial). ECCH's letter briefly summarised a number of criticisms that other reviewers have raised in far greater detail. Two of these,including a joint letter from Viksveen, Roberts and Tournier of the Homoepathy Research Institute, have been now published by the IJCP. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ijcp.12156/abstract.
Sadly however, while the original article has been widely disseminated through 'open access' the replies have not been made 'open access'.
Despite calls to do so, the editor has refused to retract the original article, but instead invites further discussion. In our view at the very least the critical responses should be made as available through 'open access'. To restrict access to these responses to journal subscribers only makes the editor's call for further debate on this poor quality paper seem highly disingenuous.
In the interests of 'open debate' and 'open access', ECCH's letter of response is attached here: ecch - posadski et al ijcp dec 2012.pdf
19 February 2013
Homeopathic Treatment of Migraine in Children: Prospective, Multi-centre, Observational Study shows positive results
3 December 2012
Objectives: The study objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of
homeopathic medicines for the prevention and treatment of migraine in
Design: This was an observational, prospective, open, non-randomized, non-comparative, multi-center study.
Setting/location: The study was conducted in 12 countries worldwide.
Subjects: Fifty-nine (59) physicians trained in the prescription of
homeopathic medicines and 168 children, aged 5–15 years, with definite
or probable migraine diagnosed using International Headache Society 2004
criteria were the subjects in this study.
Interventions: Physicians were given complete freedom in terms of
treatment prescription; thus, prescriptions were individualized for each
Outcome measures: The frequency, intensity, and duration of migraine
attacks in the 3 months prior to inclusion were compared with those
during the 3-month follow-up period. Pertinent data were collected using
questionnaires completed by the doctor and the patient or his/her
parent/guardian. The secondary outcome measure was the impact of
homeopathic medicines on education, measured as absence from school.
Results: The frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks
decreased significantly during the 3-month follow-up period (all
p<0.001). Preventive treatment during this time consisted of
homeopathic medicines in 98% of cases (mean=2.6 medicines/patient).
Children spent significantly less time off school during follow-up than
before inclusion (2.0 versus 5.5 days, respectively; p<0.001). The
most common preventive medicines used were Ignatia amara (25%; mainly
9C), Lycopodium clavatum (22%), Natrum muriaticum (21%), Gelsemium
(20%), and Pulsatilla (12%; mainly 15C). Homeopathy alone was used for
the treatment of migraine attacks in 38% of cases. The most commonly
used medicines were Belladonna (32%; mainly 9C), Ignatia amara (11%;
mainly 15C), Iris versicolor (10%; mainly 9C), Kalium phosphoricum (10%;
mainly 9C), and Gelsemium (9%; mainly 15C and 30C).
Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate the interest of
homeopathic medicines for the prevention and treatment of migraine
attacks in children. A significant decrease in the frequency, severity,
and duration of migraine attacks was observed and, consequently, reduced
absenteeism from school.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2013, 19(2): 119-123. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0821.
Three Year EU CAMbrella Project Holds Final Conference in Brussels
After almost three years of planning, research, consultation and writing,
the 1.5 million Euro CAMbrella research project, funded under the EU Commission's FP7 research programme, held its final conference in Brussels on 29 November 2012. Held in the impressive surroundings of the Bavarian Representation right next door to the European Parliament, the final conference brought together an audience of 150 guests and interested parties to hear short reports from the various work package leaders on the findings and recommendations of each area of research.
Short summarising reports were given based on the themes of the 8 work packages: Terminology, Legal Status, Citizens’ Needs, Patients’ Perspective, Providers’ Perspective, Global Perspective, Research Roadmap and Communications. The reports are all being presented to the Commission for verification and should hopefully all be ready for public dissemination very soon.
For more information
11 October 2012Landmark conference on CAM takes place in the European Parliament
On 9 October 2012 an all day conference entitled ' Complementary and Alternative
Medicine - Innovation and Added Value for European Healthcare ' took place in the European Parliament Buildings in the heart of Brussels. Sponsored by three progressive MEPs, Oena Antonescu, Sirpa Pietikäinen and Alojz Peterle the conference speakers presented a very clear rationale for why CAM should become more integrated into EU member state healthcare systems in the near future. ECCH, together with other participants in the stakeholder group EUROCAM, played an active role in preparing, funding and running this conference.
30 September 2012Emerging evidence for the cost-effectiveness of complementary therapies and integrative care
A short report containing the conference declaration and a list of speakers with access to copies of their presentations is available here:http://epha.org/a/5387
A pdf of the special report produced for the conference 'Complementary and Alternative Medicine - current status and potential in European Healthcare'
is available here: eu cam booklet.pdf
In a comprehensive systematic review of economic evaluations of CIM aimed
at evaluating them for future health reform, 338 economic evaluations were identified of which 204, covering a wide of CIM for different populations, were published between 2001-2010. The review identified many evaluations previously missed by previous reviews and is without doubt the most comprehensive review of its kind ever undertaken. It identified emerging evidence of cost-effectiveness and possible cost savings in at least a few clinical populations. The authors conclude that more better quality studies are needed in this important area.
Are complementary therapies and integrative medicine cost-effective? a systematic review of economic evaluations
Patricia M Herman, Beth L Poindexter, Claudia M Witt, David M Eisenberg
BMJ Open 2012;2:e001046 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001046
The abstract and full article can be accessed here: http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/2/5/e001046.abstract
NOTE: this paper would seem to add to the evidence outlined in a previous paper by Kooreman and Baars published in 2011 in The European Journal of Health Economics entitled "Patients who GP knows Complementary Medicine tend to have lower costs and live longer.
Here a data-set from a Dutch health insurer was used containing quarterly
information on healthcare costs (care by general practitioner (GP),
hospital care, pharmaceutical care, and paramedic care), dates of birth
and death, gender and 6-digit postcode of all approximately 150,000
insurees, for the years 2006–2009. Data from 1913 conventional GPs were
compared with data from 79 GPs with additional CAM training in
acupuncture (25), homeopathy (28), and anthroposophic medicine (26).
They found that patients whose GP has
additional CAM training have 0–30% lower healthcare costs and mortality
rates, depending on age groups and type of CAM. The lower costs result
from fewer hospital stays and fewer prescription drugs.
24 August 2012
Study shows patients receiving homeopathy only for influenza-like illness were more satisfied
In a new prospective observational study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine looking at the management of influenza-like illness by allopathic and homeopathic GPs in France, patients receiving homeopathic treatment only recorded most satisfaction with their treatment.
The study was conducted in metropolitan France during the 2009–2010 influenza season and involved 65 homeopathic GPs and 124 allopathic GPs who recruited a total of 461 patients with influenza-like illness. Patient satisfaction with treatment did not differ between both sets of GPs
but was highest for patients treated with homeopathic medications only.
The abstract and a full copy of the research paper can be accessed here: http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2011.0706
7 August 2012
New study shows widespread use of homeopathy in German children
A new study published in 'Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety' shows that homeopathic medicines, along with phytotherapeutic medicines, are commonly used for German children. The study's aim was to estimate prevalences and determinants of conventional, homeopathic and phytotherapeutic drugs and expenditures.
Population-based data on drug utilization of 3,642 children revealed 42.3% of the children reported drug use; 24.1% of the drugs were
homeopathic and 11.5% were phytotherapeutic. The proportion of children
who took at least one homeopathic remedy was 14.3%. Drugs prescribed by
physicians were dominated by conventional medicine (76.5%), whereas in
non-prescribed drugs, both homeopathy and conventional medicine
accounted for 37% each. Boys (OR = 0.78) used less homeopathy than
girls. Income showed only a weak influence. Education had a strong
effect on the use of phytotherapy such that children of mothers with
higher school education (>10 years vs. <10 years) used more
phytotherapy (OR = 2.01).
For a copy of the full abstract and access to the full article go to: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pds.3323/abstract;jsessionid=87C2DC36C5C8687D7CB535D910A57A84.d03t04