Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Homeopathy May Help Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (Randomized, Blinded Study)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Homeopathy May Help Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (Randomized, Blinded Study)

Article excerpt

EXETER, ENGLAND -- Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome may improve with homeopathic treatment, Dr. Elaine Weatherley-Jones said at a health care symposium sponsored by the University of Exeter.

Reporting the results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of individualized homeopathy in a group of 86 patients, Dr. Weatherley-Jones said that there was a statistically significant, "although modest" decline in general fatigue among patients randomized to active homeopathic treatment, compared with those treated with placebo.

For the study, patients underwent 6 months of homeopathic treatment administered by one of four homeopaths in Leeds or five in Sheffield, England. Homeopathic consultations took place at monthly intervals. The homeopaths were allowed to choose any remedies that they considered to be appropriate and to change the regimen as needed, said Dr. Weatherley-Jones of the medical care research unit at the University of Sheffield.

The primary outcome measures in the trial were the five subscales of the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI), which rate general, physical, and mental fatigue, as well as reductions in activity and motivation.

After 6 months, mean improvement on the MFI general fatigue subscale was 2.79 in the active treatment group and was 1.35 in the placebo group, a difference that was statistically significant.

Improvements also were seen on the other MFI subscales, but the differences between the treatment and placebo groups were not statistically significant, Dr. Weatherley-Jones said.

When asked about the impact of treatment on their overall well being, patients who received homeopathy reported feeling "fitter, more rested, and less tired."

The study did not include a "no treatment" group. Lengthy detailed physical and psychological assessments were carried out initially to ensure that the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome was correct. …

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