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

Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.59). 11/2005; 11(5):799-806. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2005.11.799
Source: PubMed


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).
This work was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
This study was conducted in a private homeopathic clinic in the Seattle metropolitan area.
Subjects included children 6-12 years of age meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition (DSM-IV) criteria for ADHD.
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 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.
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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    • "We have published a Cochrane Library review of homeopathy for ADHD and HKD [1]. The review identified four randomized or quasi-randomized placebo-controlled trials [2-5] that used behavioural rating scales, three of which also used subscales of the Conners test [6]. Of the four studies, three used individualized ‘classical’ homeopathy and substantial differences in prescribing methods between trials and conflicting results make this group of studies hard to interpret [7,8]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Difficulty in controlling attention can lead to mental fatigue in the healthy population. We identified one trial reporting a benefit in patients' attention using a homeopathic formula preparation. One component of the preparation was potassium phosphate, widely available off the shelf as Kali phos 6x for cognitive problems. The aim of this exploratory trial was to assess the effectiveness of Kali phos 6x for attention problems associated with mental fatigue. Methods: We recruited student and staff volunteers (University of York) with self-reported mental fatigue, excluding any using homeopathy or prescribed stimulants, or with a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. In a triple blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 86 volunteers were randomized to receive Kali phos 6x or identical placebo 10 minutes before taking a psychological test of attention (Stroop Colour-Word Test). One week later they were crossed over and took the other preparation before repeating the test. Results: We found no evidence of a treatment effect in a comparison of Kali phos 6x with placebo (Kali phos minus placebo = -1.1 (95% CI -3.0 to 0.9, P = 0.3) Stroop score units, Cohen effect size = -0.17) even when allowing for a weak period effect with accuracy scores in the second period being higher than those in the first (P = 0.05). We observed a ceiling effect in the Stroop test which undermined our ability to interpret this result. Conclusions: Kali phos 6x was not found to be effective in reducing mental fatigue. A ceiling effect in our primary outcome measure meant that we could not rule out a type II error. Thorough piloting of an adequate outcome measure could have led to an unequivocal result. CURRENT CONTROLLED TRIALS: ISRCTN16521161.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 10/2012; 12(1):167. DOI:10.1186/1472-6882-12-167 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    • "Jacobs et al. (2005) fanden in einer ebenfalls randomisierten kontrollierten Studie dagegen bei 43 Kindern keine deutlichen Verbesserungen unter Homöopathie. Eine ausführliche Analyse der Studien von Frei et al. (2005) und Jacobs et al. (2005) nahm Döpfner (2006) vor. "

    Zeitschrift für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie 01/2009; 37(1):13-25. DOI:10.1024/1422-4917.37.1.13 · 0.99 Impact Factor
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    • "It found improvement of ADHD symptoms on the Conners' Global Index, but the lack of a washout period before randomization resulted in all patients worsening in the first treatment period regardless of group assignment. In the final trial, all participants experienced the same interaction with the homeopath, who was allowed to change the remedy and potency used over the 18-week trial [55]. Participants were randomized to receive the active homeopathic remedy prescribed by the homeopath or a placebo homeopathic remedy. "
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    ABSTRACT: Complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies are commonly used by parents for their children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum disorders. The use of these therapies is well documented, yet the evidence of the safety and efficacy of these treatments in children is limited. This article describes the current evidence-based CAM therapies for ADHD and autism, focusing on nutritional interventions; natural health products, including essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other health supplements; biofeedback; and reducing environmental toxins. The CAM evidence in ADHD is addressed, as is the CAM literature in autism.
    Pediatric Clinics of North America 01/2008; 54(6):983-1006; xii. DOI:10.1016/j.pcl.2007.09.006 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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