Why do parents take their children to homeopaths? -- an exploratory qualitative study

Steinsbekk, A., Bentzen, N. and Brien, S. (2006) Why do parents take their children to homeopaths? -- an exploratory qualitative study. Forschende Komplementärmedizin und Klassische Naturheilkunde [Research in Complementary and Classical Natural Medicine], 13, (2), 88-93. (doi:10.1159/000092004).


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Original Publication URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000092004


Background: There has been a threefold increase in the proportion of children among patients visiting homeopaths in Norway from 1985 to 1998. As no study has investigated the reasons for this increase, the aim of the present study was to explore why parents take their children to homeopaths.

Participants and Methods: In this qualitative study, parents who had taken their child to a homeopath for the first time during the last 3 months were interviewed in depth using a semi-structured interview guide. The interviews were analysed using thematic analysis based on techniques from grounded theory.

Results: 9 parents were interviewed. Parents consulted a medical doctor to clarify how serious their child’s health condition was, and sought treatment from a homeopath if the symptoms were not dangerous. Personal recommendations or personal experience of homeopathy were identified as being a main factor that triggered seeking treatment specifically from a homeopath. The reasons they sought an alternative, or rather complement, to conventional medical treatment were: they did not wish to give their child allopathic medication; they wanted to find an alternative treatment to their child’s currently prescribed allopathic medication; they had ceased conventional medication due to its side effects; to obtain treatment whilst waiting for a problem to be assessed; or they were not offered any treatment by their medical doctor.

Conclusion: Parents took their child to a homeopath due to experiences with the medical encounter or treatment and due to recommendations or own personal experience.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1159/000092004
ISSNs: 1424-7364 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: parents,adult, patients, parent-child relations, norway, research support, methods, treatment, child, time, research, female, health, interviews as topic, male, homeopathy, analysis
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
R Medicine
R Medicine > RX Homeopathy
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Community Clinical Sciences
University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine
ePrint ID: 62148
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
February 2006Published
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:45
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/62148

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