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Validating the Clinical Predictive Value of Homeopathic Provings: A Pilot Study Comparing Retrospectively Collected Proving and Clinical Data
05 February 2018 (online)
Background: Homeopathic provings (also called homeopathic pathogenetic trials) are currently used by the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS) to evaluate homeopathic drugs in the monograph review process. Provings originated in 1766 have been progressively updated to conform to modern standards for ethical and scientific conduct of human trials. Provings are considered to be a primary data source to guide selection of a medicine for treatment, but the actual use and value of proving symptoms in clinical practice have not been systematically investigated.
Aim: To formally examine the correlation between data obtained from provings and clinical effectiveness when proving data are used as a guide to selection of treatment.
Methods: This study is based on a retrospective chart review of patients of ~ 5,000 rubrics from ~ 360 case visits in ~ 150 patients treated with a polychrest by a group of clinicians making use of the Vithoulkas Compass system for homeopathic medicine selection and record-keeping. Data obtained from modern and historical provings of the same polychrest will be converted into rubrics and compared with the rubrics used in the treated patients. The analysis will establish the prevalence of the use of the provings rubrics in the selection of the polychrest and assess the prognostic value of these rubrics by calculating likelihood ratios, based on the reported effect from treatment.
Expected Outcomes: Results will be presented at the conference. This preliminary study will yield information on the relevance of provings to clinical treatment choice and outcome, comparative data on historical and modern provings, and the prognostic value of particular rubrics to treatment outcome using likelihood ratios. This information is relevant to clinical practice; the HPCUS monograph process, regulation, approval of new homeopathic drugs, and the design of future homeopathic studies.
Keywords: Provings, homeopathic pathogenetic trials, patient chart analysis, likelihood ratio