Dr Achamma Lenu Thomas MD(Hom)
Medical Officer, Department of Homeopathy
Govt. of Kerala
Many of the research works in homeopathic field are done in an unscientific manner. When research is not conducted in proper scientific way and when there are no valid statistical data it becomes unacceptable to the scientific community.
Clinical research is an area where we cannot make a lot of mistakes so each and every step of the research has to be properly planned.
Flow chart of research
Confirm the availability of resources – time, money and men
Define the problem we are going to study, its aims and objectives, the type of study we are conducting and the statistical test we are going to apply.
Consult a bio statistician and find out about the feasibility of the study, whether the test we are going to apply is appropriate, seek expert opinions from him.
Read the latest developments in the topic we are going to study, read the research papers done earlier about this topic.
Work out a time table
Set up a case record which includes the diagnostic criteria and scaling of symptoms
Prepare a master chart
Case taking, repertorisation, selection of similimum and follow up
Statistical analysis and conclusions
Presentation of research work in form of thesis or an article or as paper to be presented of scientific seminars
Areas of Committing mistakes by a newcomer to research
Scaling of symptoms not recorded in the case format
Scaling of symptoms has to be recorded in the case record. Suppose if the research work is completed and we forgot to do the scaling of symptoms before the treatment, it will be difficult to find out whether a particular patient had a particular symptoms at the time of starting the research.
A sample size above 30 is considered as an appropriate sample which gives a more or less unbiased report about the population. A new comer or a student who fixes the sample size as 30 must bear in mind that 3 or 4 patient may drop out in midst of research due to various reasons.
One of the areas where bias becomes a problem is when the investigator has to deal with subjective information only. In such cases a report of patients condition obtained by a third person can be recorded.
Remember our research works can be a topic of investigation for another research worker who wants to challenge our conclusions. Further Govt. has published a list of disease for which a claim to complete cure is considered as illegal. So claims the “Effectiveness of homeopathic medicines in the cure of psoriasis” should be made after due consideration.