Classical homeopathy in the treatment of cancer patients - a prospective observational study of two independent cohorts

Background: Many cancer patients seek homeopathy as a complementary therapy. It has rarely been studied systematically, whether homeopathic care is of benefit for cancer patients. Methods: We conducted a prospective obse
Background: Many cancer patients seek homeopathy as a complementary therapy. It has rarely been studied systematically, whether homeopathic care is of benefit for cancer patients. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study with cancer patients in two differently treated cohorts: one cohort with patients under complementary homeopathic treatment (HG; n=259), and one cohort with conventionally treated cancer patients (CG; n=380). For a direct comparison, matched pairs with patients of the same tumour entity and comparable prognosis were to be formed. Main outcome parameter: change of quality of life (FACT-G, FACIT-Sp) after 3 months. Secondary outcome parameters: change of quality of life (FACT-G, FACIT-Sp) after a year, as well as impairment by fatigue (MFI) and by anxiety and depression (HADS). Results: HG: FACT-G, or FACIT-Sp, respectively improved statistically significantly in the first three months, from 75.6 (SD 14.6) to 81.1 (SD 16.9), or from 32.1 (SD 8.2) to 34.9 (SD 8.32), respectively. After 12 months, a further increase to 84.1 (SD 15.5) or 35.2 (SD 8.6) was found. Fatigue (MFI) decreased; anxiety and depression (HADS) did not change. CG: FACT-G remained constant in the first three months: 75.3 (SD 17.3) at t0, and 76.6 (SD 16.6) at t1. After 12 months, there was a slight increase to 78.9 (SD 18.1). FACIT-Sp scores improved significantly from t0 (31.0 - SD 8.9) to t1 (32.1 - SD 8.9) and declined again after a year (31.6 - SD 9.4). For fatigue, anxiety, and depression, no relevant changes were found. 120 patients of HG and 206 patients of CG met our criteria for matched-pairs selection. Due to large differences between the two patient populations, however, only 11 matched pairs could be formed. This is not sufficient for a comparative study. Conclusion: In our prospective study, we observed an improvement of quality of life as well as a tendency of fatigue symptoms to decrease in cancer patients under complementary homeopathic treatment. It would take considerably larger samples to find matched pairs suitable for comparison in order to establish a definite causal relation between these effects and homeopathic treatment.
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Metadaten
Author:Matthias Rostock, Johannes Naumann, Corina Güthlin, Lars Guenther, Hans H. Bartsch, Harald Walach
URN:urn:nbn:de:hebis:30-89196
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2011/02/11
Year of first Publication:2011
Publishing Institution:Univ.-Bibliothek Frankfurt am Main
Release Date:2011/02/11
Note:
© 2011 Rostock et al. ; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Source:BMC Cancer 2011, 11:19 ; doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-19 ; http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2407/11/19/abstract
HeBIS PPN:231109660
Institutes:Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Sammlungen:Universitätspublikationen
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 2.0

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