Homeopathy for insomnia: A systematic review of research evidence

School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), University of Sheffield, Regent Court, Sheffield, UK.
Sleep Medicine Reviews (Impact Factor: 8.51). 03/2010; 14(5):329-37. DOI: 10.1016/j.smrv.2009.11.005
Source: PubMed


Insomnia is a common problem which impacts on quality of life. Current management includes psychological and behavioural therapies and/or pharmacological treatments.
To systematically review research evidence for effectiveness of homeopathy in the management of insomnia.
Comprehensive searches of biomedical databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane library, Science Citation Index), homeopathy-specific and complementary medicine-specific databases were conducted.
(A) Homeopathic medicines: four randomised controlled trials (RCTs) compared homeopathic medicines to placebo. All involved small patient numbers and were of low methodological quality. None demonstrated a statistically significant difference in outcomes between groups, although two showed a trend favouring homeopathic medicines and three demonstrated significant improvements from baseline in both groups. A cohort study reported significant improvements from baseline. (B) Treatment by a homeopath: No randomised controlled trials of treatment by a homeopath were identified. One cohort study, three case series and over 2600 case studies were identified.
The limited evidence available does not demonstrate a statistically significant effect of homeopathic medicines for insomnia treatment. Existing RCTs were of poor quality and were likely to have been underpowered. Well-conducted studies of homeopathic medicines and treatment by a homeopath are required to examine the clinical and cost effectiveness of homeopathy for insomnia.

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Available from: Clare Relton, Aug 18, 2014
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    • "It is claimed that the special style of case-taking, a different approach on how to manage conventional therapies, and specific life-style recommendations must both be considered as intrinsic parts of a homeopathic treatment. If so, randomised controlled trials on homeopathic medicines alone might be inappropriate or at least insufficient to research homeopathy as a whole [8, 9]. On this background large-scaled, uncontrolled cohort studies have been conducted which aim to assess health effects by global, patient-centered outcome measures (outcome studies). "
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