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European Coalition on Homeopathic & Anthroposophic Medicinal Products

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Use of homeopathy in general paediatrics

19 Jul 2016

A new research study published in Global Pediatric Health reports on a cross-country online survey involving 582 general paediatricians and general practitioners treating paediatric diseases in six countries (Germany, Russia, Bulgaria, Spain, Colombia and Israel). Data were collected through a structured online self-reporting questionnaire; respondents were not informed that the survey was about natural remedies and homeopathy.

The survey found that 17% of paediatric prescriptions refer to phytotherapy and 15% to homeopathic preparations. Natural remedies and homeopathic preparations are more frequently used in upper respiratory tract infections, infant colic, sleep disturbances, and recurrent infections. In the majority of cases, they are used together with chemical medicines. The interest of physicians in using natural remedies or homeopathic preparations in children is driven in most cases by the request of parents - both treatment options are typically used if parents are concerned about side effects of conventional drugs or prefer natural remedies for themselves. Physicians express high interest in natural remedies and homeopathy; however, their knowledge is variable. Lack of proven efficacy, knowledge on mechanism of action, and information on indications are the main factors that limit their usage.

Overall, the results of the survey confirm that, irrespective of some country differences, there is a global approach towards an increased interest and use in natural remedies and homeopathic preparations in children.