Background/aims: Validation of treatments with individually prescribed homeopathic medicines is a challenging task. A prognostic homeopathic patient questionnaire containing 140 keynote symptoms (highly characteristic of a specific homeopathic medicine) and an electronic algorithm to process the answers were used in 2 clinical studies. The algorithm outcome, based on total symptom scores, indicated 1 of 11 pre-selected homeopathic medicines for women with premenstrual syndrome and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMS/PMDD). Aims were (1) to estimate the prognostic values of keynote symptoms and (2) to evaluate the reliability of the homeopathic medicine ranking in the algorithm outcome.
Methods: The prevalence of specific keynote symptoms was calculated in 145 women diagnosed with PMS/PMDD and in 40 included women with favorable outcomes using 1 of the 11 homeopathic medicines. Likelihood ratios (LRs) of the keynote symptoms were calculated. Pearson's correlations were calculated between 2 sets of total algorithm scores for 11 homeopathic medicines, obtained at 2 time points.
Results: (1) A positive prognostic value (LR ≥ 1.5) was found in 34 keynote symptoms with a prevalence of 10-40%, with 10 symptoms already being connected to the corresponding homeopathic medicine in the algorithm. For example, the symptom 'common cold of the nose before menstruation' indicated Magnesium carbonicum with LR = 7.47 (confidence interval (CI) 3.90-14.28). (2) Pearson's correlations for the reliability evaluation varied from 0.69 to 0.84.
Conclusions: Recommendations can be made to improve the PMS algorithm with more accurate keynote symptoms. The prognostic questionnaire proved a reliable tool to rank 11 homeopathic medicines by total scores, based on keynote symptoms. This PMS algorithm can be used for the treatment of PMS/PMDD in clinical practice.
Keywords: Homeopathy; Likelihood ratio; PMS/PMDD; Premenstrual; Prognostic factor; Questionnaire; Reliability.
© 2018 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.