Acute Otitis Media Systematic Review

What is this project about?

This project aims to assess the effectiveness of homeopathy for Acute Otitis Media (AOM) in terms of symptom relief and reduced antibiotic consumption. This study will provide patients, practitioners and stakeholders with clear, comprehensive and objective information for a condition routinely treated with homeopathy.

We will conduct a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature on homeopathy, investigating individualised and non-individualised homeopathy for AOM. Standard systematic review methodology will be employed for study identification, selection and data extraction. Appropriate quality assessment will be used to assess study quality independently.

Lead researcher

Dr Esther van der Werf MSc PhD Dip IACH (Hom)
Clinical Research Lead
Homeopathy Research Institute

Esther has an MSc in Epidemiology and MSc in Health Policy & Management from Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. In 2006 she obtained her PhD on epidemiology and the urinary tract from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Esther is a qualified classical homeopath, trained in homeopathy at the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy (Professor George Vithoulkas, Greece).

She has more than 20 years’ experience of clinical research and project management and subsequently worked as an epidemiologist at University of Medical Centre Utrecht and University of Applied Sciences Leiden in the Netherlands. In 2015 Esther joined the Centre of Academic Primary Care of the University of Bristol, UK, to continue her research on Integrative Medicine and infectious diseases. From August 2018 until August 2019, she initiated and led the research group on Integrative Medicine at the School of Medicine of Taylor’s University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, followed by 2 years leading the Integrative Medicine research department at Louis Bolk Institute in The Netherlands.

Why is this project important?

AOM is one of the most common infections experienced in the community and managed in primary care and are the most common reason for antibiotic prescribing in children internationally. Although complementary therapies are commonly used in conjunction with conventional care, there is currently a lack of research in this area.
Patients, clinicians and other stakeholders can only make informed choices about the use of medicines if they have good quality, robust information. This project aims to provide clarity for a common condition for which the evidence that homeopathy can be considered effective is promising. With antibiotic resistance a growing issue in healthcare, any evidence-based treatment option which reduce their use will be of major benefit.

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