A survey of the perceptions of homeopathy by registered chiropractors in South Africa
Khoosal, Bharti Gangaram
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The aim of this study was to assess the perceptions of registered chiropractors towards homeopathy in South Africa. The aim was to establish the knowledge and perceptions of homeopathy and to facilitate greater understanding, co-operation and communication between chiropractors and homeopaths. A questionnaire as a measuring tool was used to carry out this study. The questionnaire was modified from Langworthy and Smink (2000), Maharajh (2005) and Tatalias (2006). A questionnaire was mailed to all chiropractors registered with the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa currently practising in South Africa. The data for this study was derived from 170 (45%) questionnaires. The data obtained was analysed using the SPSS® for Windows™ and Excel® XP™ statistical package. Descriptive statistics using frequency tables and bar charts were used to study the data. Correlation analysis was performed using Pearson’s Chi Square Test, Phi coefficient, Kendall Tau coefficient and Cramer’s V coefficient to determine whether there was any significant association between the factors collected in the responses. Dendrograms were used to analyse questions that had more than one response. On analysing the results it was found that the majority of respondents were white (89.4%). The majority of respondents were between the ages of 25 and 35 and had been practicing for less than 5 years. The majority of chiropractors had a high level of knowledge of the status of homeopathic education in South Africa. 95.3% perceived that homeopathy is legally recognised in South Africa, 91% perceived that homeopathy has a scientific basis and 98% perceived that it is a legitimate form of medicine. The majority of respondents (87.1%) had consulted with a homeopath before and 12.9% of respondents had not. The majority of respondents perceived that homeopathy is suitable for use in conjunction with chiropractic treatment (95.3%). Communication and co-operation between homeopaths and chiropractors was considered to be moderate to good (68.2%). The majority of chiropractors had referred patients to homeopaths and most homeopaths had made referrals to chiropractors. Most chiropractors gave feedback on referred patients to a homeopath and said that they would like feedback on a referred patient. It can be concluded from the study that chiropractors perceive that homeopathy has a role to play in the health care system of South Africa.