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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123

Abstract

FIGUEIREDO, Túlio Alberto Martins de  and  MACHADO, Vera Lúcia Taqueti. Social representations of homeopathy: a revision of studies produced in Espírito Santo State, Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, suppl.1, pp. 999-1005. ISSN 1413-8123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232011000700032.

This study attempts to survey the investigations about the representations of homeopathy on the State of Espírito Santo scene. The point of departure was an analysis of six studies of the kind, in which the subjects were professionals acting in the area of health and community members. One of the six studies surveyed society as a whole and a second one focused on users of homeopathic medicaments. Yet both groups of respondents represented homeopathy as natural or phytotherapic treatment, essentially directed to controlling or curing allergy and other diseases which were classified as minor. As to the health professionals, all studies but one referred to the alopaths. Among the alopaths, the ideas expressed by the subjects, pharmacists apart, were identical to those expressed by the community members. Viewed as a specialized discipline, homeopathy is a social phenomenon that provokes representations which undergo changes as they circulate in society. Our study holds that all misinterpretations about the nature and role of homeopathy detected in the community's responses as well as in the scientific domain, in the State of Espírito Santo, are historical reminiscences which go back to the time when homeopathy was introduced in Brazil and,even today, the contents of homeopathy are still absent in most health courses.

Keywords : Homeopathy; Social representations; Trends.

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