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Homeopathic Medical Trial Design Challenges


  • Dr Elizabeth Thomson’s main focus is on trial design and from running randomized control trials she noticed that because it’s such an artificial setting it could impact on the homeopaths wondering ‘am I giving them the placebo?’ ‘am I giving them the real thing?’
  • Elizabeth and Claire started to work on ways to reduce the impact of the researcher on the participants, whether they be the patient or the therapist. Claire has been working on the ZELLONS design to reduce this impact.
  • She has 5000 people all with chronic pain whom she can research on having developed a body of patients where the outcome measures are being measured all the time, so they hardly know that anything is happening.
  • Biggest challenge is the idea that the placebo idea is nothing and not worth anything.
  • Expectations can open up people’s ability to self-heal
  • Dentist was told he was giving half of patients a pain reducing medication and the other half a pain inducing medication and they saw a perfect split of the patient’s symptoms being worse or better, when in fact, they were all getting a placebo. So, expectations can be quite powerful.
  • Dr Thomson believes that using all of the trial designs is the best for getting the most reliable results
  • She has a lot of hope for homeopathy as the homeopathic community has stuck together through all of the hardships time has posed.
  • She hopes that the homeopathic community will be more involved with health prevention in more routine ways in the future
  • She also supports conventional and homeopathic medicines being used in an integrative way and to work together for the good of the person

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