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Tags danish , homeopath , paper

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Old 21st November 2011, 12:08 PM   #1
RationalVetMed
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Anyone speak Danish? - homeopathic help needed

I keep coming across this "reference" on a variety of pro-homeopathic websites as evidence in favour of homeopathy (this is from The European Network of Homeopathic Researchers):

Quote:
Retrospective survey of homeopathic treatment, Danmarks Farmaceutiske Højskole, 1995. 73% of patients stated they improved after homeopathic treatment.
Andersen HE, Eldov P. Klassisk hom?opati - og dens brugere. Institut for
Samfundsfarmaci, Danmarks Farmaceutiske H?jskole. 1995. Andersen, Helle
Egebjerg. En unders?gelse af Klassisk Homøpati. Teorier, praksis og
brugererfaringer. 1999. ISBN 87-987279-0-7
I know it's only a patient survey so pretty much not worth the paper it's written on but I keep coming across the exact same form of words, including all the '?' marks where various word processors have substituted non-English characters, in a whole load of different web-sites.

I'm puzzled because the author's name (Andersen, Helle Egebjerg) seems to appear twice - once at the start and again half way through and also there are 2 dates - 1995 and 1999.

Can anyone tell me what is going on here - have the homs accidentally copied and pasted 2 separate titles and mistaken them for a single study or is this a 'nested' reference from a book written by the same person that did the study? Either way the manner that the reference is displayed makes me doubt whether those doing the pasting have ever seen, never mind read the paper and are just slavishly copying anything to support their case.

Also, I'd be grateful for any links to the original paper(s)... oh, and a translation would be nice too - us Nalyssuses were always very demanding

Cheers,

Yuri
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Old 21st November 2011, 12:09 PM   #2
epepke
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I know one word of Danish, but it's been diluted 20X. Does that count?
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Old 21st November 2011, 12:10 PM   #3
RationalVetMed
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Originally Posted by epepke View Post
I know one word of Danish, but it's been diluted 20X. Does that count?
He he - still too strong though!

Yuri
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Old 21st November 2011, 12:56 PM   #4
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Your quote is about two books. The Royal Library and Copenhagen University Library Information Service lists them here: http://rex.kb.dk/primo_library/libwe...eferences=true

One seems to be a summary of the other, as far as my Danish goes

Last edited by Dutchman; 21st November 2011 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 21st November 2011, 01:12 PM   #5
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The 1995 version is described on this page.

It's a survey of 345 persons who visited homeopats. They say at the end
Quote:
Forbehold

På grund af den begrænsede tidsfaktor (1/2 års speciale) er der gennemført en retrospektiv brugerundersøgelse og ikke en prospektiv. Undersøgelsen skal derfor læses som en pilotundersøgelse, hvor resultaterne ikke er statistisk generaliserbare.
A google translate gives you a pretty good translation:
Quote:
Disclaimer

Because of the limited time factor (1 / 2 year thesis) is conducted using a retrospective study and not a prospective. The study should therefore be read as a pilot study in which results are not statistically generalisable.
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Old 21st November 2011, 01:27 PM   #6
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And here's the second one online.

I don't really speak danish, but can understand some of it. Like Dutchman said, it's a summary of the first report, so no new statistics.

They say in the summary that no real conclusions can be drawn from the study, that a different design is needed for the research, and that longer time is needed.

The only conclusion they present is that 61% of the patients that got better believe that Homeopathy was the reason for the improvement. However they point out (reworded) that correlation does not imply causation...
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Old 21st November 2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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I found the paper linked from this page. Don't go there unless you're prepared to be upset about these people talking about treating cancer with homeopathy...

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Old 21st November 2011, 01:58 PM   #8
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It's originally a study done by students of pharmacology and consists of two different sets of qualitative interviews and a qualitative questionnaire. It's about what homeopathic theory says about healing, what homeopathic practitioners think the effects of their remedies are, and whether patients report effects matching these expectations.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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"73% of patients stated they improved after homeopathic treatment" looks pretty similar to the results of the 2005 Spence paper etc.
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Old 22nd November 2011, 04:17 PM   #10
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OK, the author, Helle Egebjerg Andersen has a pharmaceutical education, and she appears to employed (now) in the Danish National Health Service.

Apparantly, she was still studying in 1995, when the initial paper was written. The 1999 paper is a summary of the first.

The survey is a retrospective patient questionnaire. The patient group of 345 users is, forgive my saying so, the usual suspects:

Mainly female, 20-49 years old, often dissatisfied with conventional medicine, and presenting complaints listed as...

- General pains
- Infections
- Skin problems
- Asthma/allergy
- "Psychical pain" (!)

The complaints listed appear to be solely based on patient indication, no medical diagnoses are indicated.

In a post hoc questionaire, 73% reported an improvement in their main complaint. Of these,
18% reported that the complaint had completely resolved.
38% report some improvement
17% report only a small improvement
24% report no change
4% report being worse

61% of those feeling improvement ascribe their improvement to homoeopathy

40-50 report various general forms of improved well-being, such as better energy, better life values, better self appreciation.


Obviously, the character of the study does not lend itself to blinding or introduction of controls, and neither exist.

The report appears neutral and well balanced, and the motivation for making it is indicated to be the considerable popularity of homoeopathy.

There does not seem to be a qualitative conclusion, and I might add that to me it appears to be indistinguishable from placebo and spontaneous improvement.

The author does not appear to be particularly pro homoeopathy, but of course the report is widely cited by Danish homoeopaths as scientific proof.

Hans
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Old 23rd November 2011, 12:37 AM   #11
RationalVetMed
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
OK, the author, Helle Egebjerg Andersen has a pharmaceutical education, and she appears to employed (now) in the Danish National Health Service...
Hans
That's great folks, many thanks to everyone for this, I've been able to understand this whole 'reference' much better now. I've tried to summarise most of the stuff here - http://www.rationalvetmed.org/papers...l#Andersen1995.

If anyone spots any obvious errors or thinks it could be improved please let me know.

Cheers,

Yuri
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Old 23rd November 2011, 01:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Yuri Nalyssus View Post
That's great folks, many thanks to everyone for this, I've been able to understand this whole 'reference' much better now. I've tried to summarise most of the stuff here - http://www.rationalvetmed.org/papers...l#Andersen1995.

If anyone spots any obvious errors or thinks it could be improved please let me know.

Cheers,

Yuri
It looks fine to me. The extra trick to this is that when presented as evidence, the wast majority of the world population cannot actually read it, since only about 6 million people on the planet speak Danish.

Hans
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Old 23rd November 2011, 03:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
It looks fine to me. The extra trick to this is that when presented as evidence, the wast majority of the world population cannot actually read it, since only about 6 million people on the planet speak Danish.

Hans
When it comes to reading you can add most educated Norwegians, lots of Swedes... oh, and Icelanders, Faroese, and such. Not that that gets you more than at most another order of magnitude.
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Old 23rd November 2011, 07:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bjornart View Post
When it comes to reading you can add most educated Norwegians, lots of Swedes... oh, and Icelanders, Faroese, and such. Not that that gets you more than at most another order of magnitude.
Yea, OK. And some of the Fins. So let's say 20 million.

Hans
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