Eyles, Caroline, Walker, Jan and Brien, Sarah
Homeopathic practitioners' experiences of the homeopathic consultation: A protocol of a grounded theory study
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 15, (4), . (doi:10.1089/acm.2008.0105). (PMID:19388856).
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Background: The apparent success of homeopathy is often attributed to a collaborative, holistic, and empathic consultation and to the practitioner–patient relationship. Despite the practitioner's consultative style being shown to affect patient's health outcomes in conventional medicine, most research into the homeopathic consultation has focused on patients' experiences. However, the practitioner is a crucial component of the therapeutic context and may therefore have an important part to play in optimizing health outcomes in homeopathy. Additionally, the mechanisms underlying therapist effects are still poorly understood in clinical medicine generally and particularly so in homeopathy.
Aim: The aim of this research is to gain an in-depth understanding of homeopathic practitioners' perceptions and experiences of the consultation, and the process of engaging with the patient and prescribing the remedy. We propose to generate a theoretical model to explain the processes that underpin the homeopathic consultation.
Design: This is a qualitative study using grounded theory methodology. Two (2) phases of data collection will be involved. Phase 1 will involve face-to-face in-depth interviews with homeopaths. From these interviews, a theoretical model of the homeopathic consultation will be developed. Phase 2 of data collection will involve observations of homeopathic consultations and the use of practitioner diaries in order to test the emerging theoretical model from phase 1. Homeopaths will be sampled from the Faculty of Homeopathy and the Society of Homeopaths.
Results: Results will be available in summer 2009.
Conclusions: The findings from this study will lead to the development of a theoretical model of how homeopaths view and enact the consultation process. Revealing this process may influence the training of new practitioners and improve the practice of experienced practitioners and will therefore be of benefit to patients. In addition, the findings may be of potential benefit to practitioners of other therapeutic consultations.
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