Research: BELL and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 105

Abstract

BELL and colleagues, Department of Medicine and Program in Integrative Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, 85724-5153, USA, ibell@u.arizona.edu, have described bio-psycho-social-spiritual correlates of the strength of the vital force in homeopathy within a complex systems context

Background

This trial aimed to explore associations between the classical homeopathic construct of vital force and scores on bio-psycho-social-spiritual questionnaires.

Methodology

62 patients with fibromyalgia were assessed prior to a trial of individualized homeopathy. Two homeopaths jointly performed intake interviews, and a conventional medical practitioner independently assessed the patients. All assessors rated their Clinical Global Impression of the severity of illness. Homeopaths also rated the strength of patients' vital force on a five-point Likert scale. Patients completed self-report questionnaires on pain, global health, mood, quality of life, coping style, health locus of control, wellbeing, and social desirability.

Results

Greater vital force ratings correlated with less severe illness assessment, and with decreased mental confusion, higher vigour, greater positive states of mind, lesser fatigue, better global health, greater sense of coherence, powerful-others locus of control, increased emotional wellbeing, and higher social desirability. There was no correlation however with age, pain, or illness duration.

Conclusion

Homeopathic vital force ratings reflect better perceived mental function, energy, and positive dimensions of the individual, even in the presence of illness.

References

Bell IR, Lewis DA, Lewis SE, Brooks AJ, Schwartz GE, Baldwin CM. Strength of vital force in classical homeopathy: bio-psycho-social-spiritual correlates within a complex systems context. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 10 (1): 123-131, Feb 2004.

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