Sao Paulo Medical Journal
Print version ISSN 1516-3180
RODRIGUES-NETO, João Felício; FIGUEIREDO, Maria Fernanda Santos and FARIA, Anderson Antônio de. Prevalence of the use of homeopathy by the population of Montes Claros, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2009, vol.127, n.6, pp. 329-334. ISSN 1516-3180. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-31802009000600002.
CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Homeopathy is a therapeutic system that uses small doses of substances to stimulate autoregulatory and self-healing processes. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of the use of homeopathy by the population of Montes Claros, Brazil, and the socioeconomic profile of users. DESIGN AND SETTING: Probabilistic cross-sectional study with cluster sampling, in the city of Montes Claros, Minas Gerais. METHODS: This study was conducted by applying semi-structured questionnaires. The sample was composed of 3,080 people. For the statistical analysis, Student's t test and the chi-square test were used. The statistical significance level used was P < 0.05. RESULTS: We interviewed 3,090 people. The prevalence of the use of homeopathy was 2.4%. The factors associated with its use were female gender, schooling and income. The main reason that led to seeking homeopathy was "Conventional treatment did not have any effect". For 70.2% of the users, the cost of the treatment was considered reasonable or cheap. About 73% were satisfied or very satisfied with the treatment received through homeopathy. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of the use of homeopathy found here was less than that reported in other countries. People with higher income and schooling levels used homeopathy more frequently. There was higher prevalence among women. Most users declared themselves satisfied with the treatment received.
Keywords : Homeopathy; Alternative therapies; Complementary therapies; Therapeutics; Population.