Feasibility of Homeopathic Treatment for Symptom Reduction in an Integrative Oncology Service

Noah Samuels, Yakov Freed, Rony Weitzen, Merav Ben-David, Yair Maimon, Uri Eliyahu, Raanan Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Homeopathy has the potential to reduce symptoms related to cancer treatment. The present study examined the feasibility of a homeopathic consultation and treatment program, provided as part of an integrative oncology service. Methods: The electronic medical files of patients undergoing a homeopathic consultation in an integrative oncology service clinic were examined retrospectively. Adherence to the homeopathic treatment regimen and perceived response to the treatment were evaluated. Results: The files of 124 patient (34 males, 90 females) were examined, of which two-thirds reported acquiring and self-administering the homeopathic remedy as prescribed, and nearly three-quarters reporting a beneficial effect. Adherence to the homeopathic treatment regimen was greatest among patients attending a second visit, as opposed to having only telephone/e-mail follow-up (P <.005). An association was found between a perceived beneficial effect of treatment with attending a follow-up visit (P =.04), female gender (P =.02), younger age (P =.048), diagnosis of breast cancer (P =.014), and current radiation treatment (vs chemotherapy; P =.003). Patients reporting chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy were also more likely to report a beneficial effect (P =.004), as were female patients reporting hot flashes (P =.005) and those referred by an oncologist (P =.046). No adverse effects were attributed to the homeopathic treatment. Conclusions: Homeopathy can be successfully incorporated within a supportive care integrative oncology service. In addition to demographic and cancer-related characteristics, as well as symptoms, patients attending a second visit (vs only telephone/e-mail follow-up) were more likely to adhere to and perceive a beneficial effect from the homeopathic regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-492
Number of pages7
JournalIntegrative Cancer Therapies
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • adherence
  • feasibility
  • homeopathy
  • integrative oncology
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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