Paediatric homoeopathy in Germany: Results of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS)

Department of Epidemiology and Health Reporting, Division of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety (Impact Factor: 3.17). 05/2009; 18(5):370-9. DOI: 10.1002/pds.1720
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite growing pressure against homoeopathy, an unexpected resurgence in the use of homoeopathy has been reported. It is of interest to examine the use of homoeopathy and user profiles among children in Germany.
Last-week homoeopathy use was recorded among 17,450 children aged 0-17 years who participated in the 2003-2006 German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS). The complex sample method was used to estimate the prevalence of, and factors associated with, homoeopathy use.
Nine hundred and fifty-one homoeopathic preparations were used by 718 children (weighted prevalence 4.6%). Nearly half of the homoeopathic preparations were obtained by prescriptions from medical doctors or Heilpraktiker (non-medical practitioners) and used most often to treat certain self-limiting conditions. About 60% of homoeopathy users concomitantly received conventional medicines. Homoeopathy use was closely related to socioeconomic factors, with a significantly higher prevalence rate found in the 0-6 year age group [prevalence 6.2%, odds ratio 2.2, 95% confidence intervals (CIs) 1.7-2.9], among children residing in the former West Germany [5.1%, 2.2(1.5-3.2)] or the south of Germany [6.6%, 1.7(1.3-2.4)], among children with a poor health status [6.8%, 3.0(2.2-4.2)], with no immigration background [5.3%, 3.7(2.2-6.1)], who received breast-feeding >6 months [7.6%, 2.1(1.6-2.9)], were from upper social-class families [7.4%, 1.8(1.1-2.8)] and whose children's mothers were college educated [7.2%, 1.6(1.2-2.2)].
Paediatric homoeopathy is quite popular in Germany, particularly among children from families with a higher socioeconomic status. The high level of paediatric homoeopathy use in Germany warrants a critical review to determine whether it is evidence based and cost-effective.

  • Source
    • "Southern pediatricians were also more likely to fear refusal of other vaccines if MenB vaccination were recommended, particularly if in practice <10 years, while those in Eastern states were less likely to fear this, particularly those in practice ≥20 years (Appendix). This corresponds with a lower uptake of standard vaccines in Southern states than in other parts of Germany [19], possibly explained by a higher percentage of anthroposophists/vaccine-sceptics in their population [20] [21] and a less positive physicians' attitude towards vaccination [14]. In contrast, uptake of standard vaccines is highest in Eastern Germany [19], where pediatricians, particularly female pediatricians (Appendix), were most likely to recommend MenB vaccination. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Incidence of invasive meningococcal disease is low in Germany at 0.5 cases/100,000 inhabitants. Serogroup B (MenB) is most common, causing 70% of cases, with highest incidence in infants (5.9/100,000). In 2013, a MenB vaccine was licensed in Europe. To assess pediatricians’ attitudes towards MenB vaccination and its potential use in Germany we conducted a nationwide cross-sectional survey among 5677 pediatricians. Of 3107 participants (response: 55%), 79.1% would recommend a MenB vaccination to parents, with 66.7% favoring a schedule at 6, 8 and 12 months over 2, 3, 4 and 12 months (13.4%). Administration separately from other vaccines was preferred (63.2%); 38.5% feared that a recommendation would lead to refusal of other recommended vaccinations. In conclusion, pediatricians showed distinct preferences regarding possible integration of MenB vaccination into the existent immunization schedule. As physicians play a crucial role in the implementation, findings will be useful in decision-making regarding potential introduction.
    Vaccine 09/2014; 32(48). DOI:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.09.040 · 3.49 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: agents administered during hospi- talization at a tertiary care acade- mic medical center. The retrospec- tive analysis was conducted over 1 year. A total of 416 allergies were reported among 300 patients; more than 1 allergy was reported by more than one-fourth of study patients (82/300 (27.3%)). Only 36.3% (151/416) of allergies reported were accompanied by a reaction description (95% confi- dence interval (CI), 31.7% to
Show more