A prospective, epidemiological pilot study to investigate the level of knowledge of homoeopathy and its contextualization in health shops in the Gauteng area
Tatalias, Janet Anne
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Globally, complementary and alternative medicine is a rapidly expanding sector of which homeopathy and the sale of ‘over-the-counter’ homeopathic medicines is an integral part. In South Africa, the sale of homeopathic products in 2003 increased by 16.4% over figures for 2000. The sale of homeopathic medicines specifically, increased by 23% for the same period, and the sale of homeopathic medicines consists of 67% of all homeopathic products sold. The main method of distribution of these products is via retail outlets like health shops and pharmacies (Health Products Association, 2005). It is thus expected that health shop staff have a basic understanding of complementary therapies, including homeopathic medicines, due to the fact that these products are available ‘over-the-counter’ in health shops. To be effective health service providers, they are expected to understand the principles of homeopathy and its application via the available ‘over-the-counter’ homeopathic products. However, at best we can only assume the understanding that the health shop staff have. Thus, the level of understanding of homeopathy amongst health shop staff was examined through the use of a quantitative questionnaire.