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US survey on use of homeopathy

24 Feb 2016

A new survey, published in the American Journal of Public Health, finds that 2.1% of US adults have used homeopathy within the past 12 months. Although few report using homeopathy, many of those who do find it helpful in addressing common health problems, in particular common, self-limiting conditions such as a common cold or back pain.

While two-thirds of the respondents who used homeopathy ranked it among their top three complementary and integrative medicine therapies, only 19% reported seeing a homeopathic practitioner during the preceding year. One third of homeopathy users - both those who did and did not consult practitioners - reported using homeopathy to address specific health conditions, most commonly head and chest colds. Those who did see a practitioner were significantly more likely to report that homeopathy was very important to maintaining their health and that it had helped their health problem 'a great deal.'

This is the first detailed report on the use of homeopathy in the US. The study analysed data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, which is conducted annually by National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and was completed by more than 34,500 adults. The study authors, led by Michelle Dossett, MD, PhD, MPH, now of the Benson-Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, were based at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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