An Investigation Into The Effectiveness Of Homeopathy In Improving Perceived Well Being And Quality Of Life In The 55+ Age Group
Schyma, J. (2010) An Investigation Into The Effectiveness Of Homeopathy In Improving Perceived Well Being And Quality Of Life In The 55+ Age Group, no. 401.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of homeopathy in improving perceived health and well being in the 55+ age group. Homeopathy is defined as a complex intervention including the homeopathic remedy, the therapeutic relationship and participant choices about self care. The literature on health care for the 55+ age group suggests growing concern about the need to find ways of improving the health and quality of life of older people. Smallwood (2005) suggests that homeopathy and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) may contribute to improvement in the health and well being of older people in our society. Research has been carried out into the use of homeopathy to improve health and well being, but has not focused on homeopathy as a complex intervention or its use for the 55+ age group. A mixed methodology was chosen for this research study based on a pragmatic approach. An embedded design was used, with qualitative measures as the primary source of data and quantitative measures as the secondary source. Twenty participants were recruited and received homeopathic treatment. Their response to treatment was recorded in interview transcripts, case notes, the practitioner‟s reflective journal, and results from Measure Your Own Medical Outcomes Profile (MYMOP) and SF-36 questionnaires. The practitioner was also the researcher. The participants in this study clearly identified the outcomes and the nature of the experience. 18 out of 20 participants noted a definite or limited improvement in their health which they associated with homeopathic treatment. Additionally, participants valued the opportunity to review life experiences, to make connections between life events and health issues and the resulting increase in self awareness. They reported benefits that were consistent with classical homeopathic philosophy and practice, and other research studies into homeopathic treatment. Their evidence confirmed that homeopathy provided a healing experience both physically and emotionally which met the complex needs of participants in the study, and potentially future health care needs of this age group.