Forming connections in the homeopathic consultation

University of Southampton, Primary Care & Population Sciences, Aldermoor Health Centre, United Kingdom.
Patient Education and Counseling (Impact Factor: 2.2). 02/2012; 89(3). DOI: 10.1016/j.pec.2012.02.004
Source: PubMed


OBJECTIVE: A previous study which explored homeopathic practitioners' in depth understanding and experiences of homeopathic consultations identified "connecting" as a key component of the consultation. This paper reports on "connecting" and its role in the consultation. METHOD: Using a qualitative grounded theory approach data was collected from homeopaths using in-depth interviews, observations of homeopathic consultations and solicited practitioner reflective diaries. Constant comparison assisted code, concept and category formation to form a model of the UK classical homeopathic consultation. RESULTS: "Connecting", describes a complex notion of relationship in the homeopathic consultation consisting of four dimensions, and performs several roles within the consultation that enable practitioners to elicit symptoms, identify expectations, assist with prescribing, help patients engage with homeopathic principles and stimulate healing. CONCLUSION: This study shows the homeopath as an important component of the therapeutic context forming complex relationships and using communication that is skills based and inductively shaped to interpret and respond to each individual patient and their narrative in the consultation. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This study could have implications for teachers, students and practitioners of homeopathy by influencing training needs, and could prove instructive for other clinicians as homeopaths' communication style could be used to augment other consultations.

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Available from: Caroline Eyles, Mar 17, 2014
    • "The trial-and-error aspect of treatment is common for most homeopathic patients and requires time to identify the correct remedy[49]. Researchers have found the relationship established between the patient and the provider during a homeopathic consultation to be a crucial component in navigating this period of uncertainty that occurs when searching for the most appropriate medicine for the condition[11]. Patients reported that during this course of homeopathic medicine selection, they valued the mutual respect shared between them and the practitioner and participating in the decisionmaking process[7]. "
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    • "Homeopaths, like other health practitioners, generally practice with the best interests of patients at heart, privilege the virtues of clinical relationships (Flanigan 2012)— care, respect for human dignity and vulnerability, veracity, confidentiality, and so forth—and acknowledge the needs, beliefs, attitudes, and values of the people who seek their care and their right to make health care choices (see, e.g., The Society of Homeopaths 2012). Indeed homeopathy, as with some other forms of health care practice, privileges patients' values, goals, and preferences (Plunger 2007, 2008) and gives meticulous attention to patient–practitioner communication (Eyles, Leydon, and Brian 2012). The choice to seek care from a homeopath can be just as valid and as ethically sound as any other health care choice that a patient or consumer makes, and the notion that consent or agency is untenable in respect to homeopathy (Grill and Hansson 2005) is deeply paternalistic and challenges the very idea of moral autonomy (see, e.g., Friends of Science in Medicine, www.scienceinmedicine. "
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