Homeopathy for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Pilot Randomized-Controlled Trial

ATTENTION-deficit hyperactivity disorder
MENTAL illness -- Alternative treatment
OUTCOME assessment (Medical care)
PLACEBOS (Medicine)

Abstract:Objectives: The aim of this study was to carry out a preliminary trial evaluating the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Design: This work was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Settings/Location: This study was conducted in a private homeopathic clinic in the Seattle metropolitan area. Subjects: Subjects included children 6–12 years of age meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition (DSM-IV) criteria for ADHD. Interventions: Forty-three subjects were randomized to receive a homeopathic consultation and either an individualized homeopathic remedy or placebo. Patients were seen by homeopathic physicians every 6 weeks for 18 weeks. Outcome Measures: Outcome measures included the Conner's Global Index—Parent, Conner's Global Index— Teacher, Conner's Parent Rating Scale—Brief, Continuous Performance Test, and the Clinical Global Impression Scale. Results: There were no statistically significant differences between homeopathic remedy and placebo groups on the primary or secondary outcome variables. However, there were statistically and clinically significant improvements in both groups on many of the outcome measures. Conclusions: This pilot study provides no evidence to support a therapeutic effect of individually selected homeopathic remedies in children with ADHD. A therapeutic effect of the homeopathic encounter is suggested and warrants further evaluation. Future studies should be carried out over a longer period of time and should include a control group that does not receive the homeopathic consultation. Comparison to conventional stimulant medication for ADHD also should be considered.

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