Integrative Medicine - Why we have not adapted it?

There is lack of studies assessing the preference of Indian patients for integration of homeopathy into standard therapy settings. The objectives of this study were to examine the knowledge, attitudes, and practice of homeopathy among Indian patients already availing homeopathy treatment and its integration into mainstream healthcare. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among adult patients attending the out-patients of the four government homeopathic hospitals in West Bengal, India. A self-administered 24-items questionnaire in local vernacular Bengali was developed and administered to the patients. A total of 1352 patients' responses were included in the current analysis. 40% patients thought that homeopathic medicines can be used along with standard therapy. 32.5% thought that homeopathic medicines might cause side effects, while only 13.3% believed that those might interact with other medications. Patients' knowledge ranged between 25.1 and 76.5% regarding regulations of practicing and safety of homeopathic medicine in India and abroad; while positive attitude towards the same ranged between 25.4 and 88.5%. 88.6% of the patients had favorable attitude toward integrated services. 68.2% of the patients used homeopathic medicines in any acute or chronic illness for themselves and 76.6% for their children. Preference for integrated services was significantly associated with better knowledge (P = 0.002), positive attitudes toward safety and regulations (P < 0.0001), and integration (P < 0.0001), but not with the level of practice (P = 0.515). A favorable attitude toward integrating homeopathy into conventional healthcare settings was obtained among the patients attending the homeopathic hospitals in West Bengal, India.

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