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A grounded theory study of homeopathic practitioners’ perceptions and experiences of the homeopathic consultation

Eyles, Caroline (2009) A grounded theory study of homeopathic practitioners’ perceptions and experiences of the homeopathic consultation University of Southampton, School of Medicine, Doctoral Thesis , 277pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


The apparent success of homeopathy is often attributed to a collaborative, holistic and empathic consultation and to the practitioner patient relationship. However most research into the homeopathic consultation has focussed on patients’ experiences although the practitioner is a crucial component of the therapeutic context and may have an important part to play in optimising health outcomes in homeopathy. Therefore the aim of this research was to gain an in depth understanding of homeopathic practitioners’ perceptions and experiences of the consultation. An additional aim was to generate a theoretical model to explain the processes that underpin the homeopathic consultation.
A qualitative approach was taken using constructivist grounded theory methodology employing a process of two phases of data collection. Medical and non medical homeopaths were sampled from the registers of the Faculty of Homeopathy and the Society of Homeopaths. Phase 1 involved face to face in-depth interviews with homeopaths. From these interviews a theoretical model of the homeopathic consultation was developed. Phase 2 of data collection involved observations of homeopathic consultations and the use of solicited practitioner reflective diaries in order to confirm, refute or enlarge on the model which developed from phase 1.
The emergent theoretical model entitled “a theoretical model of a UK classical homeopathic consultation” describes how homeopaths view and enact the consultation process. The findings indicate that the consultation consists of processes which are interlinked and dependent on each other. I have labelled these processes exploring the journey together, finding the level, responding therapeutically and understanding self. Central to these processes is the core category which I have labelled connecting.
This study has highlighted that the whole process of the homeopathic consultation is important and aspects that are unique to homeopathy such as the process of identifying and matching the homeopathic remedy cannot be separated from the rest of the consultation and must be considered as part of the whole process. Additionally the ritualistic and symbolic aspects of the consultation that are embedded in this process are of paramount importance and provide meaning, highlighting the power of the consultation to promote beneficial effects for the patient. This research has implications for all stakeholders and signals many future avenues for research.

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Published date: February 2009
Organisations: University of Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 72687
PURE UUID: d1c81537-9683-4687-8272-bf61d023b5cf

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Date deposited: 24 Feb 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:53

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Author: Caroline Eyles
Thesis advisor: Sarah Brien
Thesis advisor: Jan Walker

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