Research Projects

Case series of 20 children diagnosed with ADHD treated with homeopathy for a year

This case series investigated the following questions: Is there evidence to suggest the validity of homeopathic treatment for this client group? Which particular homeopathic treatment methods seem most effective? More

Overview:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition affecting increasing numbers of children. Anecdotal evidence suggests that Homeopathic treatment is effective. Current clinical trials have used specific homeopathic methodologies and trial structures. Results reflect the effectiveness of the particular approaches. This observational study explored the variety of methodologies available, and aimed to see whether any conclusions could be reached as to what constitutes 'best practice' for this client group.

20 children age 5-16 from two geographical areas (Thames Valley and Northamptonshire) were treated for a year each. Children received an initial consultation and 6 follow ups at 6 week intervals, mirroring normal homeopathic practice. Children in Northamptonshire were seen in a clinical setting. Children in Thames Valley were seen in their own homes.

Outcome measures were Conners 80 point Parent's Rating scale administered at 1st consultation; 6 months and 1 year; MYMOP 2 administered at each consultation. At each consultation the homeopath noted the methodology used and outlined the rationale.

Current status:

The project has been completed as part of an MSc in Research Methodologies at Goldsmiths University and is now in the process of being submitted for publication. 

Team:

Supervision by:
Morag Hiers, Research Fellow, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York
Professor John Gruzelier, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths University
Dr Deborah Bowden, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths University

Principal Investigator:

Philippa Fibert BEdCantab, Msc, RSHom

Funding:

Northamptonshire client group are funded through the HRI. Thames Valley client group are funded by Turner's Court Trust (a local charity dedicated to prison prevention).
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Depression – What is the role of treatment by homeopaths?

This project will evaluate the acceptability and the comparative effectiveness of adjunctive treatment provided by homeopaths for patients with self-reported depression, in addition to usual care. More

Overview:

This project is conceived and led by Petter Viksveen. He will be carrying out this project as part of his PhD studentship at the University of Sheffield, under the supervision of Dr. Clare Relton and Prof. Jon Nicholl. The project began in November 2013.

This project aims to evaluate the acceptability and the comparative clinical and cost effectiveness of adjunctive treatment provided by homeopaths for patients with self-reported depression, in addition to usual care. Multiple methods are proposed for the design and implementation of this research project. The final outcomes of this project will aim to contribute to the knowledge base used to determine the appropriateness of offering homeopathy as an adjunct for patients suffering from depression.

The current plan includes:

A.      To review the literature on homeopathy in depression – a systematic
          literature review, including a review of patients’ self-reported experiences.

B.      To carry out a pragmatic randomised controlled trial to assess homeopathy as an
          adjunct to usual care in self-reported depression.

C.      To investigate patients’ experience through a qualitative study.

Current status:

Petter Viksveen has been accepted onto the Health and Related Research PhD programme. He is supervised by Dr. Clare Relton and Prof. Jon Nicholl. The project has obtained ethics approval from an NHS Research Ethics Committe. Patients are recruited from the ongoing NIHR CLAHRC funded South Yorkshire Cohort study.

This project has obtained 75% of the required funding and is seeking the remaining 25% (45k).

Team:

Mr P Viksveen  PHD student (University of Sheffield), MSc Homeopathy (Hons) (University of Central Lancashire), BA pedagogy (University of Oslo), Registered Homeopath MNHL (Norway)

Dr Karen Pilkington (Systematic review) – Senior Research Fellow, School of Life Sciences (University of Westminster)
Philippa Fibert – PhD student (University of Sheffield)

 

Supervision by:
Dr Clare Relton – Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research (University of Sheffield), and a Registered Homeopath
Prof Jon Nicholl – Professor of Health Services Research and Dean of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)

Advisor:
Prof Paul Bissell – Professor of Public Health and the Director of the Public Health Section, School of Health and Related Research (University of Sheffield)

 

Principal Investigator:

P Viksveen

Funding:

Project is currently seeking £45k
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Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) randomised controlled trial

A collaboration between researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, and clinicians and patients at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. More

Overview:

It is often suggested that the improvement patients report from homeopathy is due to the ‘time and attention’ they receive during the consultation with the homeopath. Others believe that the improvement reported by patients is due to the therapeutic effect of the homeopathic medicines. Researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield are working with clinicians and patients at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to address this question.

IBS is one of the most common conditions treated by NHS homeopaths (Mathie 2006; Spence et al, 2005) and there is promising clinical research regarding the effectiveness of homeopathic medicines and treatment by homeopaths for this condition (Owen 1990; Rahlfs 1976, Rahlfs 1979, Gray, 1998).

Current status:

Interim results have recently been published by Emily Peckham.

This pragmatic randomised controlled trial assessing the effectiveness of homeopathy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is comparing three treatments: individualised treatment by a homeopath; usual conventional care; and ‘supportive listenting’ (a control for the time and attention spent by the homeopath).

At this stage of the trial, the percentage of patients achieving a clinically relevant change (at least 50 point change in IBS-SSS after 26 weeks) is 62.5% in the homeopathy group, 25% in the usual treatment group and 39% in the supportive listening group. However, these results are not statistically significant i.e. it cannot be ruled out that these differences are not simply due to chance.
 
To determine whether these results represent real clinical difference between the treatments or not, a total of 198 patients need to be included in the trial, but so far only 94 have been recruited.

The research team are now seeking further funding to recruit the remaining patients.

http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN90651143/

Team:

Dr K Kapur - Consultant Gastroenterologist, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Dr E Said - Registrar Gastroenterology
Mrs J Raw - Registered Homeopath
Mrs C Walters - Registered Homeopath
Dr C Relton - Research Fellow, School of Healthcare, University of Sheffield, Registered Homeopath                                      
Ms Emily Peckham - PhD student, School of Healthcare, University of Leeds
Professor K Thomas - School of Healthcare, University of Leeds
Dr CM Smith - Research Fellow in Acute Care, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Miss E Goodwin - Acting Research Fellow, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Mrs Bowen - Patient Representative 

Principal Investigator:

K Kapur

Funding:

Currently seeking a final £15,000
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Online database of homeopathic scientific literature

The aim of this project is to allow the homeopathic community and the general public to access the scientific evidence relating to homeopathy. More

Overview:

A first version of the database  covering articles published up to 1999 has kindly been donated to us. In Phase I we used this data to create a user-friendly database on our website.

Current status:

Phase I was completed in November 2010. Phase II began in April 2011 and involves a close collaboration with the Carstens Foundation in Germany to substantially expand the database. This will bring both a substantial increase in the number of trials presented and an increase in the level of detail of information provided about each trial. The database will also be kept up to date with the latest papers on a continual basis.

 

Team:

Rainer Lüdtke – Carstens Stiftung, Essen, Germany
Dr Jürgen Clausen – Carstens Stiftung, Essen, Germany
Daniela Hacke – Carstens Stiftung, Essen, Germany
Robert Mathie – British Homeopathic Association, Luton, UK

Principal Investigator:

Dr A. Tournier, Sian Moss

Funding:

£2K required per year
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Physico-chemical properties of homeopathic dilutions

This project aims to observe possible physico-chemical differences between succussed and unsuccussed water using a specific class of chromophoric probes (ie: highly sensitive aqueous dyes). More

Overview:

This will be done using a light spectrometer to analyse the changes in emission spectra of the chromophores as a function of the number of succussion, substance diluted and environmental factors.
 

Current status:

The project is in its early phases, it is showing promising results which are currently being consolidated.

 

Principal Investigator:

Dr Steven Cartwright PhD
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Physics of homeopathic dilutions

At present very little is known of the chemical and physical processes involved in the therapeutic effects of homeopathy. A large number of experiments have been performed over the years, probing these processes using a variety of tools such as spectroscopy or nuclear magnetic resonance. More

Overview:

The aim of the project is to gather the current knowledge coming out of physico-chemical experiments and to start to draw out some of the fundamental physical principles seemingly at play in homeopathic dilutions.

The knowledge gathered will be used to inform further physico-chemical research projects.

Principal Investigator:

Dr A Tournier & Dr S Baumgartner

Funding:

£5000
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Theories of homeopathic dilutions

There is at present no recognised physical theory of the mode of action of homeopathic preparations. Two theories have been proposed which both offer serious framework through which to explain and understand homeopathic dilutions. More

Overview:

The aim of this project is to critically assess physical theories of homeopathy, extracting commonalities to establish ways in which they could be tested experimentally.

The insight gathered from these theories will potentially provide answers as to why experiments have been so unreliable until now, and lead the way towards conceiving more reproducible experiments in the future.

Principal Investigator:

Dr A Tournier & Dr S Baumgartner

Funding:

£5,000
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