The clinical research evidence in homeopathy is reviewed, focusing on randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Emphasis is placed on distinguishing between RCT findings in individualised compared with non-individualised (standardised) homeopathy, treatment versus prophylaxis, and placebo-controlled versus non-placebo-controlled study design.
’Vote counting’ of positive results in evidence overviews has limited value, and meta-analyses (for homeopathy in general or by medical condition) have produced equivocal findings. Present initiatives in a systematic review and meta-analysis are identifying the study quality and magnitude of treatment effects, reported in RCTs within the different categories of peer-reviewed RCTs, with the overarching objective of reforming optimal clinical research in homeopathy. Our meta-analysis of data from published RCTs has found evidence for a small treatment effect of remedies prescribed in individualised homeopathy. The evidence from RCTs of non-individualised homeopathy is less compelling. The implication of these findings for future research development in homeopathy is a matter of importance.
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