What is the role of homeopathy in the treatment of depression?

What is this project about?

This project, being carried out as part of a PhD programme at the University of Sheffield, aims to evaluate the impact of providing homeopathic treatment in addition to usual care, for patients with self-reported depression. Multiple research methods are being combined to assess the acceptability of this approach, its clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness.

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Current status

The project began in November 2013 and was finalised in January 2015. Data analysis is however still ongoing. The research project has been registered with the ISRCTN register of Current Controlled Trials to ensure that all findings are made public.

Petter is carrying out this project within a Health and Related Research PhD studentship.

The project has obtained ethics approval from an NHS Research Ethics Committe. Patients were recruited from the ongoing NIHR CLAHRC funded Yorkshire Health Study.

Research team

Dr P Viksveen – PhD (University of Sheffield), MSc Homeopathy (University of Central Lancashire), BA pedagogy (University of Oslo), Registered Homeopath MNHL (Norway)

Supervision by:
Dr Clare Relton – Research Fellow, School of Health and Related Research (University of Sheffield), and a Registered Homeopath
Prof Jon Nicholl – Professor of Health Services Research and Dean of the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR)

Advisor:
Prof Paul Bissell – Professor of Public Health and the Director of the Public Health Section, School of Health and Related Research (University of Sheffield)

Lead researcher

Dr Petter Viksveen BA MSc PhD

Petter has been a practising homeopath since graduating from the Norwegian Academy for Natural Medicine in Oslo in 1990. He was Chairman of the European Central Council of Homeopaths (ECCH) for 13 years and ECCH Research Working Group Coordinator. He is a founder of, and a coordinator for, the European Network for Homeopathy Research (ENHR). Petter held the post of Research Advisor for the National Information Centre for Alternative Medicine, Norway from 2009 to 2011. He holds a Masters Degree in Homeopathy from the University of Central Lancashire and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the University of Sheffield.

Why is this project important?

“The project aims to contribute to the knowledge base used to determine the appropriateness of offering homeopathy as an adjunct for patients suffering from depression.”  Petter Viksveen

Publications related to this project

Depressed patients treated by homeopaths: A protocol for a pragmatic randomized controlled trial and qualitative study applying the cmRCT design – poster presentation, 1st HRI International Homeopathy Research Conference, Barcelona, May-June 2013.

Depression treated by homeopaths: A study protocol for a pragmatic cohort multiple randomised controlled trial.
Viksveen P. Relton C.
Homeopathy, 2014;103(2):147-52

Author publicationsLess


Economic evaluations of homeopathy: A review – oral presentation at the 1st HRI International Homeopathy Research Conference held, Barcelona, May-June 2013.

Read the abstract published in Homeopathy
View a film of this presentation here

Economic evaluations of homeopathy: a review
Viksveen P, Dymitr Z, Simoens S
Eur J Health Econ., 2014;15(2):157-74

What is a competent homeopath and what is needed to educate them?  A qualitative study of educators’ views.
Viksveen P, Steinsbekk A, Rise MB.
Education for Health, 2012; 25(3): 172-179

Undergraduate homeopathy education in Europe and the influence of accreditation.
Viksveen P, Steinsbekk A.
Homeopathy, 2011; 100: 253-258

Changes in patients visiting a homeopathic clinic in Norway from 1994 to 2004.
Viksveen P, Steinsbekk A.
Homeopathy, 2005; 94: 222-228

Antibiotics and the development of resistant microorganisms.  Can homeopathy be an alternative?
Viksveen P.
Homeopathy, 2003; 92:99-107  

Project: hridepression

Funding depression

Funding status
Currently looking for an additional £17,000 for further analysis of data