The effectiveness of a homoeopathic complex (Caladium seguinum 30CH, Nux vomica 30CH and Staphysagria delphinium 30CH) compared to a tautopathic preparation of the cigarette smoked in the management of nicotine withdrawal syndrome
Riggien, Catherine Joy
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‘Cigarette smoking is a modern day epidemic that poses a substantial health burden’, it has been proven that smokers die on average fourteen years earlier than non smokers as a direct result of their smoking. An abundance of evidence indicates that the health risks associated with cigarette smoking can however be reversed with a sufficient period of abstinence. Thus achieving life-long abstinence must be a health priority for both developing and developed countries (Caponnetto &, Polosa, 2008). Over 80% of smokers express a desire to stop smoking and 35% of them try to stop each year. However, less than 5% are successful in un-aided attempts to quit (American Psychiatric Association, 1995). The greatest challenge facing smokers who wish to quit are nicotine withdrawal symptoms; these include dysphoric or depressed mood, insomnia, irritability, frustration, anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, decreased heart rate and increased appetite or weight gain (American Psychiatric Association, 1995). The aim of this double blind placebo controlled quantitative study was to determine the effectiveness of a homoeopathic complex (Caladium seguinum 30 CH, Nux vomica 30 CH and Staphysagria delphinium 30 CH); a tautopathic preparation and the combined effect thereof, in the treatment of nicotine withdrawal syndrome as determined by the Tolerance Dependence Questionnaire, Smoking History and Perceptions of Treatment Questionnaire. Methodology Forty participants recruited by means of convenience sampling were randomly and equally divided into one of four treatment groups, namely tautopathic group, homoeopathic group, combined tautopathic and homoeopathic group and placebo group. The duration of the study was 2 weeks and two consultations with each participant were conducted. The respective interventions were administered in oral spray format; participants were asked to spray their respective preparations directly into their mouth three times daily and to repeat the dose whenever they had a craving for a cigarette. iv Measurements in the form of the Tolerance Dependence Questionnaire (Appendix D), Perceptions of Treatment Questionnaire (Appendix H), and Smoking History (Appendix G) were used to quantify response to treatment. Non-parametric statistical analysis was conducted to analyse the data. Results All four research groups experienced a statistically significant reduction in the amount of cigarettes smoked, favourable perceptions of their response to treatment and improved tolerance. Statistically however when the groups were compared with each other they were similar with respect to their tolerance to nicotine, perception of response to treatment and reduction in amount smoked. Although interventions were statistically similar in terms of effectiveness, the data does suggest that Tautopathy as an intervention warrants exploration. The Tautopathic group achieved the highest reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked when comparing medians (11 less smoked per day), achieved the highest percentage of participants who experienced reduced cravings, and the highest percentage of participants who would continue using the intervention (90% respectively) as well as improvements in 6/9 variables of the Tolerance Dependence Questionnaire. Conclusions The study concludes that each of the four subject groups (including placebo) proved to be successful in aiding the participant to cease smoking. The results showed a significantly positive perception of the participants to the interventions used. The influence of the placebo effect however was very evident in this study; in addition other factors such as the unique method of administration of the medication (oral spray format on demand) the Hawthorn effect and the participants’ desire/commitment to quit smoking may have contributed to the positive results obtained. Notwithstanding the above and although not statistically significant; positive trends within the data do suggest that the Tautopathic approach used in this study should be further investigated in future.