Reliability of Three Constitutional Questionnaires in Ayurveda Diagnosis

Principal Investigator: Carolyn Nygaard, ND & Corina Dunlap, ND

Abstract: The traditional Indian medical model known as Ayurveda is one of the most ancient and widely practiced forms of medicine today, along with traditional Chinese medicine. As demand in the western world for traditional forms of medicine increase, there is growing interest to ensure quality in training, research, and practice.1 Treatment efficacy is the most prolific type of research in Ayurveda, however there is little research examining reliability of the various diagnostic techniques upon which treatment prescription and efficacy depend.  The Ayurveda diagnosis consists of determining an individual’s constitution and current imbalance(s) through the use of a multimodal approach including observation, physical exam, pulse diagnosis, and health history.  Many Ayurveda physicians also employ a constitutional questionnaire during the initial patient intake.  There are, however, many types of constitutional questionnaires available today, without formal standardization or evidence of validity. If included in the overall patient assessment, these questionnaires may impact diagnosis and long-term treatment recommendations.  Research on their reliability and validity is therefore imperative.

This study will examine three constitutional questionnaires from three well-known western Ayurveda educational institutions in order to examine test-retest reliability over one month and internal consistency of one questionnaire from one time point.