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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 867151, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/867151
Research Article

Use of Homeopathy in Pediatric Oncology in Germany

1Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Herdecke, Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4, 58313 Herdecke, Germany
2University of Witten/Herdecke, Witten, Germany
3German Childhood Cancer Registry (GCCR), The Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics (IMBEI), University of Mainz, Mainz, Germany
4Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology, Otto Heubner Centre of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Received 2 February 2010; Revised 24 March 2010; Accepted 10 September 2010

Copyright © 2011 Alfred Längler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Homeopathy is a frequently used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment. We present results comparing responses of homeopathy users (HUs) and users of other forms of CAM (NHUs) in pediatric oncology (PO) in Germany. Differences between these two groups (usage, associated demographic characteristics, previous experience with CAM) are investigated. 186 (45.2%) of the 367 CAM users were exposed to homeopathy. The treatment duration amounted to a median of 601 days for HUs and 282 days for NHUs. Parents with p (127; 76.5%) also used homeopathy for their child's cancer. Nonmedical practitioners played a considerably greater role as source of information than did treating physician. In the majority HUs received their prescriptions from nonmedical practitioners (56%; 29.4% of NHUs). HUs communicate more frequently with their physicians about the CAM-use (77.7% versus 65.2%) and recommend CAM more often than NHUs (94% versus 85.6%). Homeopathy is the most frequently used CAM treatment in PO in Germany. HUs sustain treatment and therapies considerably longer than NHUs. Most families who had used homeopathy before their child was diagnosed with cancer also used homeopathy for the treatment of their child's cancer. Compared to other CAM treatments, patient satisfaction with homeopathy appears to be very high.