Serious mistakes in meta-analysis of homeopathic research
Correspondence to: Prof. George Vithoulkas,
International Academy of Classical Homeopathy,
Alonissos 37005, Greece,
Phone: +30 24240 65142, Fax: +30 24240 65147, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: September 24th, 2016 – Accepted: December 14th, 2016
The article discussed the imminent problems of meta-analyses selecting a number of independent trials in homeopathy, within which, the purpose was to examine the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment. Our focus lied in clarifying that the complex effects of homeopathic treatment known from history and day-to-day practice have not been respected so far.
The examination of most of the homeopathic trials showed that studies rarely account for homeopathic principles, in order to assess the effectiveness of the treatment. The main flaw was that trials reflect the point of view that the treatment with a specific remedy could be administered in a particular disease. However, homeopathy aims to treat the whole person, rather than the diseases and each case has to be treated individually with an individualized remedy. Furthermore, the commonly known events during the course of homeopathic treatment, such as “initial aggravation” and “symptom-shift” were not considered in almost all the studies. Thus, only a few trials were eligible for meta-analyses, if at all.
These and other factors were discussed and certain homeopathic principles were suggested to be respected in further trials. It is expected, that a better understanding of homeopathic principles would provide guidelines for homeopathic research, which are more acceptable to both homeopathy and conventional medicine.