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German parents want more homeopathy for their children

23 Sep 2021

A newly published study assesses the demand for complementary and integrative medicine methods in parents of children in clinical primary care. It found that 40% already use it for their children at home and many would like it to be incorporated into clinical primary care. Homeopathy is the most popular integrative medicine therapy used by parents for their children.

Of the 40% of parents already using complementary medicine procedures for their children at home, the most frequently mentioned therapy was homeopathy (almost 60%), followed by osteopathy and phytotherapy. The majority of parents (more than 80%) stated that they would like to take advantage of an extended range of integrative medicine services in the hospitals of the study. Homeopathy was the method most desired by the parents, followed by osteopathy, phytotherapy and massage therapies. 88% of the parents said they would be willing to pay privately for additional costs themselves if the specific therapy is not covered by their insurance.

1323 parents took part in the survey, which was run at the Paediatric Department of the Elisabeth Hospital, Essen and the Children’s Hospital St Marien, Landshut, both in Germany. Parents of both out- and inpatients were interviewed.

Other studies show that over half of German children, both healthy and chronically ill, are treated with complementary and integrative medicine, in particular homeopathy, phytotherapy, anthroposophic medicine, vitamins and acupuncture.

The study concludes that there is an urgent need for educated professionals with an evidence-based knowledge of the opportunities and risks of complementary and integrative medicine and for advancing the institutionalisation of these therapies.

Further information

Integrative pediatrics survey: Parents report high demand and willingness to self-pay for complementary and integrative medicine in German hospitals, Anheyer et al, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 60, August 2021, 102757, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2021.102757