Homeopathy 2012; 101(01): 28-37
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2011.10.002
Original Paper
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2011

Monitoring improvement in health during homeopathic intervention. Development of an assessment tool based on Hering’s Law of Cure: the Hering’s Law Assessment Tool (HELAT)

Sarah B. Brien
1  University of Southampton, UK
Hugh Harrison
2  Watchbell House Natural Therapy Centre, 8 Lugley Street, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 5HD, UK
June Daniels
3  The Highfield Natural Health Centre, 17 Highfield Lane, Highfield, Southampton S017 1QD, UK
George Lewith
4  Department of Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
› Author Affiliations

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

Received09 August 2010
revised14 October 2011

accepted18 October 2011

Publication Date:
21 December 2017 (online)

Introduction: Hering’s ‘Law of Cure’ is considered important in homeopathy and thought to predict a positive outcome to treatment. No formal outcome measures are currently available to monitor response to homeopathic treatment on the basis of these assumptions. We describe a simple assessment tool, the Hering’s Law Assessment Tool (HELAT) to identify and differentiate patient responses to homeopathic treatment as corresponding to Hering’s Law from other symptomatic responses. We describe the development of the tool and assess its face, content and predictive validity.

Method: The HELAT was initially developed through literature review, discussion between homeopaths and clinical experience. In phase one, the tool was reviewed by three experienced homeopaths to assess face and content validity. In phase two, we tested its predictive validity by hypothesizing that the HELAT total score may predict changes in a clinical response (using standard validated rheumatological outcome, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)20%) in 32 patients with rheumatoid arthritis receiving homeopathic intervention over 24 weeks as part of a clinical trial.

Results: The HELAT was piloted and changed to improve face and content validity and the final version was then employed for phase two as a predictor of outcome. HELAT total score predicted patient’s clinical response (ACR20) [B = 1.142, SE = 0.462, P = 0.013] which was independent of practitioner assessing the patients treatment response [B = 1.04, SE = 1.01, P = 0.302].

Conclusion: The initial data suggests that the HELAT may hold promise for a potential clinical and research outcome measure in homeopathy. Further work is now needed to formally assess its reliability and validity for potential use in clinical practice and trials.