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Friday, 13th March 2015

Evidence on the Effectiveness of Homeopathy for Treating Health Conditions

Source: National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia)

From Executive Summary:

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) undertook an assessment of the evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy. This assessment was based on:
• an overview of published systematic reviews by an independent contractor,
• an independent evaluation of information provided by homeopathy interest groups and the public, and
• consideration of clinical practice guidelines and government reports on homeopathy published in other countries.

The assessment of the evidence used standardised, accepted methods for assessing the quality and reliability of evidence for whether or not a therapy is effective for treating health conditions....

There was no reliable evidence from research in humans that homeopathy was effective for treating the range of health conditions considered: no good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than placebo, or caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment.

For some health conditions, studies reported that homeopathy was not more effective than placebo. For other health conditions, there were poor-quality studies that reported homeopathy was more effective than placebo, or as effective as another treatment. However, based on their limitations, those studies were not reliable for making conclusions about whether homeopathy was effective. For the remaining health conditions it was not possible to make any conclusion about whether homeopathy was effective or not, because there was not enough evidence.

Based on the assessment of the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy, NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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