Thompson, E.A., & Reilly, D. (2003). The homeopathic approach to the treatment of symptoms of oestrogen withdrawal in breast cancer patients: A prospective observational study. Homeopathy, 92, 131–134.doi:10.1016/S1475-4916(03)00035-3
The study explored a homeopathic approach to treatment of estrogen-withdrawal symptoms in women with breast cancer.
Active intervention was a homeopathic approach, which included a 60-minute consultation and the prescription of an individualized homeopathic remedy. A total of 25 remedies were used for the first prescription. Pulsatilla, Sepia, and sulfur were each used on more than three occasions for the first prescription.
The study enrolled: 45 participants who ranged in age from 34 to 71 years; just over half were aged 50–59 years.
This was a prospective observational study.
The study used a numerical self-rating scale, where 0 = no problem, and 10 = tremendous problem, to identify patient symptoms. Hot flashes were rated as the most common symptom (n = 38).
A data table showed significant improvement in hot flashes between baseline and last visit (p < 0.001).
The study used a small, convenience sample of consecutive patients, some of who were taking antidepressants (not specified) and clonidine, which may both be used to manage hot flashes. The length of study and schedule of follow up visits were not apparent. Assessment of hot flash frequency and severity was not the primary outcome measure of the study, only one of several symptoms assessed. Primary endpoint was the “effect on daily living” scores. Homeopathy regimens were not defined, which could pose a problem for study replication. Exact reduction in hot flashes was difficult to determine.