Data collection in homeopathic practice
Even in the early 1990s practice-based clinical research was being seen as a means of promoting scientific acceptance of homeopathy, in addition to the performance of randomized controlled studies. Various prospective documentation projects were therefore started independently of one another, with differing objectives and designs. It became clear that an international standard for data collection in homeopathic practice was needed if possible synergies were to be exploited and valid data were to be accumulated. This concern was addressed by the European Committee for Homeopathy and a special Data Collection Group (DCG) was set up.
The 'final' document 'Data Collection in Homeopathic Practice – A Proposal for an International Standard' was published in December 1999. It begins by explaining the various areas which prospective documentation projects can be used to investigate, then presents possible study types and their advantages and disadvantages. A list is given of the standard parameters which need to be recorded for particular areas (quality assurance, treatment outcome or economic outcome). An overview of outcomes scales, quality of life measures and the coding systems used illustrates the difficulties involved in standardizing the design of prospective documentation projects. General recommendations are also given on practical aspects and data management in a documentation project. Since this is not the easiest of subjects, a survey known as the 10-item data set is recommended as a practical introduction.
This document can be downloaded as pdf document.