PRIORITIES FOR AUSTRALIAN HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE RESEARCH
“The coming year holds some exciting new possibilities for homeopathy in Australia in the areas of education and research, as well as building on effective relationships with health authorities. We have achieved something in Australia that is almost unique in the West, and that is general internal harmony within the profession and, as a direct consequence, a constructive and productive relationship with government.” Golden, I. (2008) Letters to the Editor. Similia. 20(1):5.
In Australia, the use of homeopathy is growing both through practitioner consultations and through use of over-the-counter products. In clear consensus, practitioners and the general public agree that serious side effects do not occur and that the direct safety of homeopathy is high .
Homeopathy is a highly cost effective form of medicine with the majority of general practitioners in various European countries agreeing that homeopathy deserves a place in mainstream medicine though some dispute exists. This dispute is only one of the reasons that it is recognised that more research is needed .
Along with the need for research come many questions, including: Which conditions are frequently treated by homeopaths in Australia and what is the outcome of the treatment? These questions make basic high-quality data collection in daily practice imperative in order to accurately reflect the clinical homeopathic results being achieved in Australia. Since research subjects are a recent addition to the curriculum in homeopathy colleges, the majority of practitioners would benefit from upskilling .
Therefore, in Australia, a building-blocks approach to fostering research in the homeopathic community is recommended starting with capacity building regarding data collection and retrospective research, through to prospective outcome studies. The need for research consequently creates a need for sourcing funding.
In Australia, the conditions most frequently treated would include, for example: eczema, asthma, anxiety, and depression. One of the main priorities is not only to research effectiveness of treating these conditions but to improve on clinical effectiveness by transferring this knowledge from research into daily practice. It follows that educational research may also be a prime concern.
To summarise, our Australian homeopathic medicine research priorities include:
- research capacity and research funding
- utilisation and effectiveness
- safety and cost effectiveness
To view the full report of Australian Homeopathy Research Priorities 2008 click HERE