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Oscillatory effects in a homeopathic clinical trial: an explanation using complexity theory, and implications for clinical practice

Oscillatory effects in a homeopathic clinical trial: an explanation using complexity theory, and implications for clinical practice
Oscillatory effects in a homeopathic clinical trial: an explanation using complexity theory, and implications for clinical practice
Four double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials of asthma or rhinitis treated with homeopathic immunotherapy (HIT) at a 30C potency have been published. The most recent study, involving house dust mite allergic asthmatics, failed to confirm a therapeutic improvement at the end of the study, but did provide preliminary evidence for an oscillation in outcome (both physiological and subjective) in with verum treatment to placebo. In this paper we show how such an oscillation is consistent with a complexity theory interpretation of how the body functions as a whole, and speculate on why different studies have produced different results. If the complexity theory interpretation is correct, then this will have a significant impact on the design of clinical trials in homeopathy and, possibly, other complementary medical interventions.
isopathy, homeopathic immunotherapy, asthma, oscillation, aggravation, complexity, networks
1475-4916
145-149
Hyland, M.E.
b995b159-edcf-4892-a04c-9f3f98b90b6f
Lewith, G.T.
0fc483fa-f17b-47c5-94d9-5c15e65a7625
Hyland, M.E.
b995b159-edcf-4892-a04c-9f3f98b90b6f
Lewith, G.T.
0fc483fa-f17b-47c5-94d9-5c15e65a7625

Hyland, M.E. and Lewith, G.T. (2002) Oscillatory effects in a homeopathic clinical trial: an explanation using complexity theory, and implications for clinical practice. Homeopathy, 91 (3), 145-149. (doi:10.1054/homp.2002.0025).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Four double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trials of asthma or rhinitis treated with homeopathic immunotherapy (HIT) at a 30C potency have been published. The most recent study, involving house dust mite allergic asthmatics, failed to confirm a therapeutic improvement at the end of the study, but did provide preliminary evidence for an oscillation in outcome (both physiological and subjective) in with verum treatment to placebo. In this paper we show how such an oscillation is consistent with a complexity theory interpretation of how the body functions as a whole, and speculate on why different studies have produced different results. If the complexity theory interpretation is correct, then this will have a significant impact on the design of clinical trials in homeopathy and, possibly, other complementary medical interventions.

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Published date: 2002
Keywords: isopathy, homeopathic immunotherapy, asthma, oscillation, aggravation, complexity, networks

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 24348
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24348
ISSN: 1475-4916
PURE UUID: 4a21f1be-11cb-4af3-b9b1-ab5cbd3298bd

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Date deposited: 30 Mar 2006
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 01:01

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Contributors

Author: M.E. Hyland
Author: G.T. Lewith

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