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An Attempt to Estimate the Noises in Homeopathic Pathogenetic Trials by Employing the Jaccard Similarity Index and Noise IndexFunding Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India, provided financial aid for printing the articles and documents required for preparing the manuscript.
Background The critical task of researchers conducting double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled homeopathic pathogenetic trials is to segregate the signals from the noises. The noises are signs and symptoms due to factors other than the trial drug; signals are signs and symptoms due to the trial drug. Unfortunately, the existing tools (criteria for a causal association of symptoms only with the tested medicine, qualitative pathogenetic index, quantitative pathogenetic index, pathogenic index) have limitations in analyzing the symptoms of the placebo group as a comparator, resulting in inadequate segregation of the noises. Hence, the Jaccard similarity index and the Noise index are proposed for analyzing the symptoms of the placebo group as a comparator.
Methods The Jaccard similarity index is the ratio of the number of common elements among the placebo and intervention groups to the aggregated number of elements in these groups. The Noise index is the ratio of common elements among the placebo and intervention group to the total elements of the intervention group. Homeopathic pathogenetic trials of Plumbum metallicum, Piper methysticum and Hepatitis C nosode were selected for experimenting with the computation of the Jaccard similarity index and the Noise index.
Results Jaccard similarity index calculations show that 8% of Plumbum metallicum's elements, 10.7% of Piper methysticum's elements, and 19.3% of Hepatitis C nosode's elements were similar to the placebo group when elements of both the groups (intervention and placebo) were aggregated. Noise index calculations show that 10.7% of Plumbum metallicum's elements, 13.9% of Piper methysticum's elements and 25.7% of Hepatitis C nosode's elements were similar to those of the placebo group.
Conclusion The Jaccard similarity index and the Noise index might be considered an additional approach for analyzing the symptoms of the placebo group as a comparator, resulting in better noise segregation in homeopathic pathogenetic trials.
Received: 30 March 2021
Accepted: 15 August 2021
Article published online:
27 December 2021
© 2021. Faculty of Homeopathy. This article is published by Thieme.
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