Homeopathic treatment of depression: series of case report
AbstractBACKGROUND: Evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy for depression is limited due to lack of clinical trials of high quality. Case reports are the first steps of clinical evidence, towards controlled trials. OBJECTIVES: To report preliminary results of homeopathic treatment of depression in Jundiai's public health system, Sao Paulo. METHODS: Review of the medical records of new patients, treated between March and December 2006. Their diagnosis was confirmed by a semi-structured interview. Patients received individualized homeopathy and their response was measured by the Montgomery & Åsberg depression scale (MADRS). RESULTS: Fifteen patients were treated and response (more than 50% decrease of MADRS scores) was observed in 14 patients (93%), after an average of seven weeks of treatment; one patient had clinical worsening and was refered to conventional antidepressant therapy. The MADRS mean scores (± dp) decreased from 24.9 (± 5.8) to 9.7 (± 8.2, p < .0001) in the 2nd evaluation, and these results signifcance were sustained through the 3rd and 4th assessments. DISCUSSION: these results suggest that homeopathy may be an alternative therapeutics for depression, but randomized and controlled studies are needed to test the efficacy and safety of the homeopathic treatment of the depressive disorders.
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