A Qualitative Systematic Review of the Homeopathic Outcome Studies in Patients with HIV/AIDS
Keywords: Homeopathy, HIV/AIDS, clinical trials
AbstractBackground & Aim: Systematic reviews of high-quality randomized controlled trials are crucial to evidence-based medicine. The objective of this review is to test whether there is enough evidence of efficacy of homeopathy from conducted clinical trials in humans suffering from HIV/AIDS. Methods: The study design was criteria-based systematic review of cumulative research and assessment of the methodological quality of only 5 published clinical trials and one review article. Among the clinical outcome studies, 3 studies were of open-label, non-randomized, non-controlled format, 2 were randomized controlled trials and one was a set of replication study. The qualities of the trials were evaluated using a list of validated and pre-defined criteria of good methodology, and the outcomes of the trials were interpreted in relation to their quality. Main outcome measures were methodological qualities in terms of consideration of threats to external, internal, construct and statistical conclusion validity. Results: Trials were too few in number and were not of very high quality. The results showed a positive trend regardless of the quality of the trial or the variety of homeopathy used. The results of this review may be complicated by publication bias. Conclusions: At this moment, the evidences are not sufficient to draw definitive conclusions. So, further evaluation of homeopathy by well-performed controlled trials of high methodological quality is required.