A comparison of the efficacy of two homoeopathic interventions in the treatment of primary hypertension in adult females
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Hypertension is a serious problem in South Africa, affecting 18.8 percent of women (South African Demographic and Health Survey, 2003), prompting investigation into treatment. In total, approximately 6.1 million people suffer from Hypertension in South Africa. AIM The purpose of this double-blind study was to evaluate the efficacy of the Homoeopathicsimillimum and a Homoeopathic complex (Aurummetallicum6CH, Lachesismuta6CH, Natrummuriaticum6CH, and Veratrum album 6CH) in the treatment of Primary Hypertension in adult females. METHODOLOGY A minimum of 30 patients were recruited and were selected on the basis of specified inclusion and exclusion criteria, and randomly divided into two equal groups by the research supervisor, with the first group receiving the Homoeopathic simillimum andthe second group receiving the Homoeopathic complex.The initial consultation took place at the Durban University of Technology or at the Umlazi Medical Centre after obtaining informed consent from the patients (Appendix D).A detailed case history was taken, followed by a complete physical examination, including blood pressure readings and cardiovascular system examinations. Follow up consultations occurred weekly for a period of four weeks to record blood pressure readings, any changes in the general health and well being of the participants, in order to prescribe more medicines if needed. A mercury sphygmomanometer and a Littmann Classic 2 stethoscope were the tools of measurement and was used according to the method outlined by Bates (2007), which states that an accurate measurement of blood pressure is dependent on the appropriate cuff size of the sphygmomanometer and whether the type of gauge used needs to be calibrated or not. SPSS version 18 was used to analyse the data. A p value <0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Repeated measures ANOVA tests were done to compare the blood pressures over time between the treatment groups. Specific remedies used at each time point were described by treatment group. Potencies of the remedies were compared within each remedy between the treatment groups using Pearson’s chi square tests. RESULTS Within each of the two treatment groups there was a highly significant decrease in systolic blood pressure over time (p<0.001). This means that both treatments were effective at lowering systolic blood pressure. Within each of the two treatment groups there was a highly significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure over time (p=0.001 and p<0.001 respectively). This means that both treatments were effective at lowering diastolic blood pressure. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures at five time points were compared between the two treatment groups using repeated measures ANOVA. There was an overall significant change over time in both groups (p<0.001), but the change over time was not different according to treatment groups (p=0.355). The decrease in systolic blood pressure over time was nearly identical in the two groups as the profiles are almost parallel. Therefore in terms of systolic blood pressure there was no statistical evidence for one treatment being more beneficial than the other. There was an overall significant change over time in both groups (p<0.001) but the change over time was not different according to treatment groups (p=0.187). The decrease in diastolic blood pressure over time was almost the same rate in both groups as the profiles are almost parallel. Therefore in terms of diastolic blood pressure there was no statistical evidence for one treatment being more beneficial than the other. CONCLUSION The results of the study led to the conclusion that both the simillimum and complex treatments were effective at reducing blood pressure over time, but there was no evidence that one treatment was more beneficial than the other, since the rates of change over time in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were similar in both treatment groups.