Why pediatric health care providers are not using homeopathic antidiarrheal agents.

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DOI: 10.1089/acm.2007.0651


OBJECTIVES: Several randomized, controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of homeopathic agents for use in childhood diarrhea. However, this therapeutic innovation is not being routinely adopted. We chose to study the degree of adoption as well as the perceived reasons for failure to adopt homeopathic antidiarrheal agents by pediatric health care providers. Additionally, we sought to determine if these agents are likely to be adopted in the future.

DESIGN: This study was a self-administered survey, including a standardized scale of innovativeness.

SUBJECTS: Subjects for this study were pediatric health care providers, and interventions consisted of abstracted results of two randomized, controlled, double-blinded studies reporting on the efficacy of homeopathic antidiarrheal agents.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome measures consisted of reports of the current treatment approach to childhood diarrhea, innovativeness, perceptions homeopathic antidiarrheal agent efficacy, and barriers to use, before and after reading the abstracts.

RESULTS: We obtained a 61% response rate. Only 3% of surveyed respondents use homeopathic antidiarrheal agents. Lack of experiential knowledge, awareness, concerns of effectiveness, and safety were the greatest barriers to adoption. More respondents felt that homeopathic antidiarrheal agents were efficacious after reading supportive abstracts, but this did not increase their willingness to use these agents. Adoption did not correlate with individual innovativeness.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of homeopathic antidiarrheal agents for childhood diarrhea is a minimally adopted innovation. Lack of correlation between adoption and individual innovativeness may suggest that this innovation is unlikely to be adopted in the future without intervention. Current barriers to adoption reveal that a stronger evidence base, and efforts to increase awareness and experiential knowledge, would be necessary to increase adoption. The results reported in this paper are discussed in the context of current theories on knowledge translation in medicine.

Journal Title

Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.)





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MeSH Keywords

Adult; Antidiarrheals; Attitude of Health Personnel; Child; Child Welfare; Diarrhea; Female; Homeopathy; Humans; Male; Pediatrics; Practice Patterns, Physicians'; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; United States


Homeopathy; Alternative Medicine; Antidiarrheals

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