Aten Primaria. 1998 Apr; 21(6): 367-75.
[Homeopathic and primary care doctors: how they see each other and how they see their patients: results of a qualitative investigation]
Centro de Salud de GÃ³mez de Alza, Donostia-San SebastiÃ¡n.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the views of Primary Care and homeopathic doctors in the same geographical and population catchment area towards Homeopathy as a discipline and the motives that bring patients to use its services. DESIGN: A qualitative study, using in-depth interviews and a focus group. SETTING: A community of 18,000 inhabitants with a Health Centre and four homeopathic physicians. PARTICIPANTS: The four homeopathic physicians and nine of the ten doctors from the Health Centre. METHOD: After face-to-face and later telephone interviews, each of the four homeopathic physicians was interviewed in depth and the author led a focus group with the 9 Health Centre doctors. MAIN RESULTS: a) From the homeopaths: they emphasised an integrated patient-centred approach. They insisted on their status as doctors and that their treatment was not iatrogenic, etc. b) From PC doctors: They were ignorant of Homeopathy. They identified it with a type of remedy of which they knew nothing, but for which they demanded scientific evidence, etc. CONCLUSIONS: PC doctors' ignorance of Homeopathy put them at risk of not understanding patients' expectations. It seems that the patient-centred, as against disease-centred, care model is, in practice, outside the scope of PC health delivery.