Yes, I admit it: over the years, I had formed a vague impression that homeopaths lack humour. Certainly, many comments on this blog seemed to confirm the notion. But now I changed my mind: some homeopaths are intensely funny.
Yesterday, I found a tweet which read: “NCH and homeopathy to be highlighted at the 2016 American Public Health Association’s conference in Denver”. The tweet provided a link which took me to an abstract authored by Alison Teitelbaum from the US National Center for Homeopathy (on their website, this organization tell us that they “inform legislators and work to secure homeopathy’s place in the U.S health care system while working to ensure that homeopathy is accurately represented in the media”).
The abstract in question summarized a presentation for the up-coming APHA-meeting in Denver. It is so hilariously comical that I simply have to share it with you (for those readers are homeopaths, I have added [in square brackets] a few footnotes explaining the humorous side of it):
Background: Over the last 25 years there has been a marked increase in consumer demand for information about complimentary  and alternative medicine, including homeopathy. Anecdotal data  suggest that homeopathic consumers are very satisfied with homeopathic medicines, and use them to treat acute, self-limiting conditions, however very little data exists in the published literature examining either topic . Therefore, the purpose of this project was to evaluate homeopathic consumers’ use and satisfaction with homeopathic medicines.
Methods: Survey of nearly 20,000 consumers  who had purchased at least 1 over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathic medicine in the past 2 years.
Results:  More than 95% of respondents indicated they were very or extremely satisfied with the most recent OTC homeopathic medicine they had purchased and used . More than 96% of respondents indicated they were very or extremely satisfied with the results of OTC homeopathic medicines that they had used in general . Over 98% of respondents reported that they were very likely to purchase OTC homeopathic medicines again in the future . More than 97% of respondents indicated that they were very likely to recommend homeopathic medicines to others . Finally, more than 80% of respondents indicated using OTC homeopathic medicines for acute, self-limiting conditions, such as aches and pains; cold and flu symptoms; and digestive upset .
Conclusion: These results support anecdotal evidence  that homeopathic consumers are satisfied with OTC homeopathic medicines , and are using them to treat acute, self-limiting conditions . Additional research is needed to further explore the use of OTC homeopathic medicine in the US for trends, access, and overall awareness about homeopathy . complimentary medicine = healthcare that costs nothing; complementary medicine = healthcare that complements real medicine; homeopathy should belong to the former category because it contains nothing.  please note how ‘anecdotal data’ becomes ‘anecdotal evidence’ by the time we reach the conclusion; little does the author know that THE PLURAL OF ANECDOTE IS NOT ‘DATA’ BUT ‘ANECDOTES’!!!  this statement implies that the author cannot cope with a Medline search, because there are plenty of articles on this subject.  ‘nearly 20 000’ perfectly reflects the scientific rigor of this project (is it really too demanding to provide the exact figure?)  how come we do not learn anything about the response rate of this survey (did ‘nearly’ everyone reply? or did ‘nearly’ everyone not reply?)?  considering that only homeopathy-fans were included, this figure should be 100%!  considering that only homeopathy-fans were included, this figure should be 100%!  considering that only homeopathy-fans were included, this figure should be 100%!  considering that only homeopathy-fans were included, this figure should be 100%!  ‘more than 80%’ of an unknown rate of responders is about as much as a tin of peas. But I am nevertheless relieved that the majority used placebos merely for self-limiting conditions; the 20% who might have used it for life-threatening conditions are probably all dead – sad!  see footnote number 2  this is like doing a survey in a hamburger joint concluding that all consumers love to eat hamburgers.  except, of course, the unknown percentage of non-responders who might all be dead.  I would re-phrase this last sentence as follows: MORE SUCH PRESENTATIONS ARE NEEDED TO PROVIDE COMIC RELIEF TO OTHERWISE DRY AND BORING MEETINGS ON PUBLIC HEALTH.