European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 164, Issue 12, pp 758–767 | Cite as

Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover trial

  • Heiner Frei
  • Regula Everts
  • Klaus von Ammon
  • Franz Kaufmann
  • Daniel Walther
  • Shu-Fang Hsu-Schmitz
  • Marco Collenberg
  • Katharina Fuhrer
  • Ralph Hassink
  • Maja Steinlin
  • André Thurneysen
Original Paper

Abstract

An increasing number of parents turn to homeopathy for treatment of their hyperactive child. Two publications, a randomised, partially blinded trial and a clinical observation study, conclude that homeopathy has positive effects in patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to obtain scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in ADHD. A total of 83 children aged 6–16 years, with ADHD diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria, were recruited. Prior to the randomised, double blind, placebo controlled crossover study, they were treated with individually prescribed homeopathic medications. 62 patients, who achieved an improvement of 50% in the Conners’ Global Index (CGI), participated in the trial. Thirteen patients did not fulfill this eligibility criterion (CGI). The responders were split into two groups and received either verum for 6 weeks followed by placebo for 6 weeks (arm A), or vice-versa (arm B). At the beginning of the trial and after each crossover period, parents reported the CGI and patients underwent neuropsychological testing. The CGI rating was evaluated again at the end of each crossover period and twice in long-term follow-up. At entry to the crossover trial, cognitive performance such as visual global perception , impulsivity and divided attention, had improved significantly under open label treatment ( P<0.0001). During the crossover trial, CGI parent–ratings were significantly lower under verum (average 1.67 points) than under placebo ( P =0.0479). Long-term CGI improvement reached 12 points (63%, P <0.0001). Conclusion:The trial suggests scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, particularly in the areas of behavioural and cognitive functions.

Keywords

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Homeopathy Individualised treatment Randomised double blind trial Treatment effectiveness 

Abbreviations

ADHD

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

CGI

Conners’ global index

CPRS

Conners’ parent rating scale (long form)

CTRS

Conners teacher rating scale

DSM-IV

diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders

K-ABC

Kaufman assessment battery for children

QCB

questionnaire of change of behaviour

TAP

test battery for attention performance

VLMT

German version of the Rey auditory verbal learning test (RAVLT)

WISC-III

German version of Wechsler intelligence scale for children

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heiner Frei
    • 1
  • Regula Everts
    • 2
  • Klaus von Ammon
    • 3
  • Franz Kaufmann
    • 2
  • Daniel Walther
    • 2
  • Shu-Fang Hsu-Schmitz
    • 4
  • Marco Collenberg
    • 4
  • Katharina Fuhrer
    • 2
  • Ralph Hassink
    • 5
  • Maja Steinlin
    • 2
  • André Thurneysen
    • 3
  1. 1.Swiss Association of Homeopathic Physicians SAHPLucerne Switzerland
  2. 2.Division of Paediatric NeurologyUniversity Children’s Hospital, InselspitalBerne Switzerland
  3. 3.Kollegiale Instanz für Komplementärmedizin (KIKOM)/HomeopathyImhoof Pavillon, InselspitalBerne Switzerland
  4. 4.Department of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science (IMSV)University of BerneBerne Switzerland
  5. 5.Zentrum für Entwicklungsförderung und pädiatrische NeurorehabilitationBienne Switzerland

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