Homeopathy and general practice: an urban perspective

R Perry, C Dowrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Complementary medicine appears to be an increasingly popular option amongst both doctors and patients. General practitioners (GPs) in more affluent parts of Britain have showed considerable interest in its use. Our objectives were to ascertain the use of and attitudes towards homeopathy amongst GPs working in a socio-economically deprived urban area such as Liverpool. A postal questionnaire survey was carried out of all general practice principals in Liverpool, using freepost envelopes and one reminder after three weeks. With respect to eight common complementary therapies in general and homeopathy in particular, respondents were asked whether they treat with, refer to or endorse each therapy; and their views were questioned on NHS funding, effectiveness, adverse reactions, training needs and theoretical validity, for each therapy. The response rate was 131/252 (52%), and was higher amongst women and doctors aged under 40 y. During the previous week 37 (28%) GPs had been involved in homeopathy with their patients: 6.5% had treated directly, 18.5% had referred to, and 7% had endorsed homeopathy. 31% of GPs reported successful outcomes by homeopathic treatment compared with 14% reporting adverse effects. Respondents were generally uncertain about the validity of the theoretical basis of homeopathy; only 23% considered it to have a valid basis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-6
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Homoeopathic Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Homeopathy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


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