Homeopathy in the treatment of fibromyalgia--a comprehensive literature-review and meta-analysis.

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2014, 22 (4), pp. 731 - 742
Issue Date:
2014-08
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BACKGROUND: Coping with the complex nature of fibromyalgia symptoms (FMS) still remains a challenge for patients. Taking into account the possible adverse events of pharmacological treatments patients often seek additional treatments for the management of fibromyalgia and turn towards complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). OBJECTIVE: In this review, we aimed to investigate the current state of literature of homeopathy in the treatment of FMS. METHODS: We searched Medline, the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials, Embase, AMED, PsycInfo and CAMbase for the terms "fibromyalgia AND homeopath$" through February 2013. In addition we searched Google Scholar, the library of the Carstens Foundation and that of the Deutsche Homöopathische Union (DHU). Standardized mean differences (SMD) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated and meta-analyzed using the generic inverse variance method. RESULTS: We found 10 case-reports, 3 observational studies, 1 non-randomized and 4 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on homeopathy for fibromyalgia. Both case reports and observational studies are naturally predominated by the use of qualitative and not validated outcome measures. Meta-analyses of CCTs revealed effects of homeopathy on tender point count (SMD=-0.42; 95%CI -0.78, -0.05; P=0.03), pain intensity (SMD=-0.54; 95%CI -0.97, -0.10; P=0.02), and fatigue (SMD=-0.47; 95%CI -0.90, -0.05; P=0.03) compared to placebo. CONCLUSION: The results of the studies as well as the case reports define a sufficient basis for discussing the possible benefits of homeopathy for patients suffering from fibromyalgia syndrome although any conclusions based on the results of this review have to be regarded as preliminary.
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