Practice of homeopathy in health services.
This study evaluated the use of homeopathy among 766 adults and elderly people who use public health services in a small city in the state of São Paulo (Brazil). Data on social-demographic characteristics, reasons to seek health assistance services and homeopathy, opinions on homeopathy and evaluation of the assistance received were collected. Data were compared according sex and use/no use of homeopathy. Most lived near the health unit (85.9%), said to be in good health (83.5%) and was female (66%), however men 59 and older sought more frequently health assistance than women. 12.3% visited the health unit for the first time, 53.5% referred absence of chronic ailments. Illness (43.7%) explains the main reason for seeking assistance and 98% considered the attention of good quality. Only 20 people (2.6%) already used homeopathy, most in private facilities (13) and due to disease (11). Users of homeopathy were older (58±16 years old) than non users (46±17 years old) (p=0.04), but equal when related to gender or absence/presence of chronic disease.