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Objective Homeopathic Signs: How Reliable Are They?
05 February 2018 (online)
Successful homeopathic prescriptions depend on accurate individualisation of each patient; however, this remains a highly subjective and controversial aspect of practice. Traditionally, individualisation was mainly based on the subjective symptoms of patients naturally collected through speech. For the past 30 years, several researchers have paid particular attention to objective, mental, and physical signs in patients and correlated sets of them with definite homeopathic medicines. This approach allegedly allows for more accurate and faster decision-making on individualised homeopathic treatment; however, there are still no quantitative measures of its accuracy.
In parallel, Rutten prospectively subjected symptoms to likelihood ratio calculation, comparing their prevalence in good responders to different homeopathic medicines to their prevalence in the remainder of patients. Interestingly, one retrospective assessment of the likelihood ratio of a set of Lycopodium symptoms in patients responding well to this medicine, compared with the rest of the population, pointed to what might be seen as a Lycopodium pattern.
We believe that both objective signs of patients and this Bayesian approach are relevant for real-life therapeutic decision-making in homeopathy. Especially frequentist approaches, as in randomised control trials, have little to say to homeopaths for daily practice. Therefore, we shall start an international multi-centre study to investigate the prevalence in the overall population of a set of physical signs considered characteristic of muriatic homeopathic medicines. This is the first indispensable step for later estimation of their likelihood ratio in prospective studies to assess their prognostic value.
In this presentation, we will briefly introduce the concept of individualising configurations of physical signs of homeopathic medicines. Next, we will discuss a protocol for multi-centre estimation of the overall prevalence of a set of objective mental and physical signs of muriatic homeopathic medicines. Thus, we expect to contribute to greater accuracy in individualised homeopathic therapeutic decision making.
Keywords: Homeopathic individualisation, objective signs, configurations, prognostic value, Bayesian analysis
No conflict of interest has been declared by the author(s).