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J Ayurveda Integr Med. 2017 Oct - Dec;8(4):257-262. doi: 10.1016/j.jaim.2017.04.011. Epub 2017 Oct 28.

Reliability of self-reported constitutional questionnaires in Ayurveda diagnosis.

Author information

1
Helfgott Research Institute c/o National University of Natural Medicine, 2220 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR 97201, USA. Electronic address: cdunlap@nunm.edu.
2
Helfgott Research Institute c/o National University of Natural Medicine, 2220 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR 97201, USA.
3
Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, 3800 N. Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97227, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ayurveda is one of the most ancient and widely practiced forms of medicine today, along with Traditional Chinese Medicine. It consists of determining an individual's constitution or Prakriti and current imbalance(s) through the use of multimodal approaches. Ayurveda practitioners may choose to include either a self-reported or structured interview constitutional questionnaire as part of the Prakriti assessment. Currently, there is no standardized or validated self-reported constitutional questionnaire tool employed by Ayurveda physicians or western Ayurveda educational institutions.

OBJECTIVES:

To examine test-retest reliability of three self-administered constitutional questionnaires at a one month interval and internal consistency of items pertaining to a single constitution.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Three constitutional questionnaires were administered online. 19 participants completed three questionnaires at two time points, one month apart. Age range was 21-62 years old with a mean age of 34. Of the 19, 5 were male and 14 female. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha scores obtained from each questionnaire were standardized to give a vector of three relative percentages, summing to 100. These percentages were further translated from numerical values to one of ten possible dosha diagnoses.

RESULTS:

Analysis indicated that the three questionnaires had moderately good test-retest reliability according to numerical scores, but highly variable reliability according to discrete Ayurveda diagnosis. Internal consistency pertaining to individual constitutions within one questionnaire was poor for all three primary doshas, but especially for Kapha.

CONCLUSION:

Further research is necessary to develop a reliable and standardized constitutional questionnaire.

KEYWORDS:

Ayurveda; Ayurveda diagnosis; Constitutional questionnaire; Constitutional questionnaire reliability

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