Homeopathy for allergic rhinitis: Protocol for a systematic review
Banerjee K., Costelloe C., Mathie RT., Howick J.
© 2014 Banerjee et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Background: Allergic rhinitis is a global health problem that is often treated with homeopathy. The objective of this review will be to evaluate the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment of allergic rhinitis. Methods/Design: The authors will conduct a systematic review. We will search Medline, CENTRAL, CINAHL, EMBASE, AMED, CAM-Quest, Google Scholar and reference lists of identified studies up to December 2013.The review will include randomized controlled trials that evaluate homeopathic treatment of allergic rhinitis. Studies with participants of all ages, with acute or chronic comorbidities will be included. Patients with immunodeficiency will not be included. The diagnosis will be based on the published guidelines of diagnosis and classification. Studies of all homeopathy modalities (clinical, complex and classical homeopathy, and isopathy) will be included. We will include trials with both active controls (conventional therapy, standard care) and placebo controls. The primary outcomes are: an improvement of global symptoms recorded in validated daily or weekly diaries and any scores from validated visual analogue scales; the total Quality of Life Score (such as the Juniper RQLQ);individual symptoms scores which include any appropriate measures of nasal obstruction, runny nose, sneezing, itching, and eye symptoms; and number of days requiring medication. Secondary outcomes selected will include serum immunoglobin E (IgE) levels, individual ocular symptoms, adverse events, and the use of rescue medication. Treatment effects will be measured by calculating the mean difference and the standardized mean difference with 95% confidence interval (CI) for continuous data. Risk ratio or, if feasible, odds ratio will be calculated with 95% CI for dichotomous data. After assessing clinical and statistical heterogeneity, meta-analysis will be performed, if appropriate. The individual participant will be the unit of analysis. Descriptive information on missing data will be included about participants missing due to drop out, whether there was intention to treat or per protocol analysis and missing statistics. A number of subgroups, homeopathic potency, age groups, and types of allergic rhinitis (seasonal or perennial) will be analyzed. Sensitivity analysis will be performed to explore the impact of risk of bias on overall treatment effect.