Promoting healthy therapeutic relationships and conducting effective consultations with child patients: Results of a Delphi study seeking the opinion of experts in the homeopathic treatment of children.
by Lisa Decandia, DSHM, RHom, MSc
I had the exciting opportunity to present my recent research at the 4th Canadian HomeoNet Research Forum. It was wonderful to speak to so many homeopaths with an interest in research. This field in homeopathy is growing and as it grows so will our knowledge of this wonderful art and science!
Homeopathic case taking is the process of eliciting symptoms from a patient whereby the practitioner perceives what needs to be cured. Much has been written about how to develop a therapeutic relationship and conduct an effective homeopathic consultation with adults, but literature on how to ensure the same in children is sparse.
The aim of this qualitative research study was to investigate the experience and opinion of experts regarding their approaches to homeopathic children’s case taking, to explore their possible commonalities and differences, and to identify best practices. Within this aim, I wanted to explore a ‘collective’ or consensus of opinion from the experts.
The experts that participated in the study were all experienced homeopaths with particular knowledge and skills in children’s case taking and treatment. They were a diverse group from around the globe.
Emerging themes from the study were explored, in the light of current thinking on pediatric care from diverse range of disciplines. I briefly presented on the following consensus themes for best practices in homeopathic children’s case taking: The experts agreed that Using Observation was significant to collect data that may not be gained from questioning; most of the experts thought that building a therapeutic relationship by engaging the child was helpful to understand the child’s perspective; the experts stressed that obtaining information from both parent(s) (caregiver) and child was useful; and finally, the experts considered that causation of illness (etiology) was helpful to understand the child’s current state.
These themes are a good start to building guiding principles in homeopathic child’s case taking. Many of these best practices are transferable and may benefit other CAM practitioners who work with children and wish to conduct effective consultations and promote healthy therapeutic relationships.
It was an enjoyable experience to present this research topic as it has been a ‘labour of love’ over the past year. I would like to acknowledge the kind and generous help of those experts who participated in this research study.