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Vol. 3  No. 4  July, 1999
MERIDIAN INSTITUTE NEWS
 


Included in this issue:



CCSI and ATLI: Two New Psychometric Instruments

    One of the major challenges in researching and applying the Cayce approach to healing is the development of a standardized assessment process. As an intuitive diagnostician, Cayce's assessment process was relatively comprehensive (holistic) and noninvasive. Also, the uniqueness of each individual was emphasized, rather than relying solely on diagnostic categories. Without Edgar Cayce to provide an assessment for each person, how can a modern clinician effectively apply the Cayce approach?

    The disease-centered model, the standard of allopathic medicine, is one approach to this dilemma. Therefore, we have created a number of standardized research protocols (Meridian Institute News, Vol. 2 No. 5, Sept. 1998) that rely on diagnostic categories as the basis for a standardized treatment plan. The disease-centered model has the advantages of simplicity and public recognition. Most people are comfortable with defining health problems in terms of diagnostic labels.

    However, health problems do not always fall easily into clearly defined boxes. Individuals may be suffering from multiple conditions (which from the Cayce perspective are often related). Or, the signs and symptoms do not fit conveniently into any conceptual category. It has been estimated that 70% of the patients seeking help from general practitioners have no clearly diagnosable illness. Edgar Cayce typically used the expression "dis-ease" in such cases.

    Although Edgar Cayce sometimes used the medical diagnostic language of his day, more often he preferred a person-centered approach to assessment and treatment planning. Each individual's current condition was addressed, regardless of (and sometimes in spite of) medical diagnoses. Cayce's complex system's approach tended to focus more on causes than effects. Thus, the assessment outcome and treatment plan sometimes appeared unrelated to the person's view of the problem. Understanding how the various systems of the body interact with each other (and to the mental and spiritual dimensions) is required to fully appreciate the Cayce model.

    Meridian Institute, in conjunction with the A.R.E. Health and Rejuvenation Research Center (HRRC), has been exploring various assessment techniques that are consistent with the Cayce approach. A previous issue of this newsletter (Vol. 3. No. 3, May, 1999) described the beginning of an assessment center dedicated to researching various noninvasive evaluation modalities. This article will focus on two new psychometric instruments created specifically to address Cayce's person-centered assessment process.

CCSI

    The Cayce Comprehensive Symptom Inventory (CCSI) is a structured assessment instrument intended for use as an adjunct to traditional and alternative assessment procedures. The CCSI consists of a wide variety of signs and symptoms of physical and emotional distress. The items are arranged in scales, each scale representing a pattern of etiology (cause and effect) used by Edgar Cayce in his system of assessment and diagnosis.

    Individuals taking the CCSI are asked to rate the presence of the sign or symptom during the past twelve months. Some items are retrospective, requiring information preceding the previous twelve month period. Based on the responses, the CCSI calculates scores for each scale. Some of the CCSI scales (such as hypothyroid or calcium deficiency) are found in many symptom inventories. Other scales (such as "lacteal duct adhesions" or "high hepatic circulation") are distinctive to the Cayce material.

    The CCSI can be administered electronically or on paper. When administered on a computer (Excel spreadsheet), the program automatically generates statistics and graphics displaying normative data. This provides a measure of how the individual compares to others who have taken the CCSI.

    The CCSI is intentionally designed to serve as an educational tool for understanding the Cayce approach to anatomy and physiology. The various scales correspond to sections of a typical Cayce physical reading. Working with the CCSI will make the Cayce health readings more accessible with regard to the language and conceptual basis of Cayce's perspective. A workbook/manual for the CCSI is being created to document this instrument.

ATLI

    The Approach To Life Inventory (ATLI) is a brief psychometric instrument for the assessment of psychospiritual functioning. The ATLI is based primarily on the philosophy of Edgar Cayce. The foundation of Cayce's holistic philosophy is the role of spiritual, mental, emotional, and interpersonal factors in health and healing. The ATLI focuses on nine aspects of psychospiritual functioning as represented by the following scales:

1. Ideals (Purpose and Meaning in Life)

2. Applied Spirituality ("Fruits of the Spirit")

3. Love of God (Relationship to a Higher Power)

4. Love of Others (Interpersonal Functioning)

5. Love of Self ("Self-Esteem")

6. Will (Locus of Control and Empowerment)

7. Mind (Attitudes, Beliefs, and Cognitions)

8. Emotions (Affective Functioning)

9. Balanced Living (Work and Play)

    Individuals taking the ATLI are asked if they agree or disagree with items on each scale. The electronic version of the ATLI automatically creates statistics and graphics for each administration. An additional analysis generates a health index based on specific items that may be particularly relevant to the healing process (self-efficacy, neglect, social support, relation to the divine, locus of control).

 



 
Data Collection Project

    At this time the CCSI and ATLI are research tools intended to generate hypotheses about the physical, mental, and spiritual functioning of each person. As with any new psychometric instrument, data must be collected and analyzed to determine reliability and validity. In nontechnical terms, we must measure the consistency and relevance of these inventories. Do the instruments measure what we want to measure and do they do it reliably?

    We have used the CCSI and ATLI in our last three research conferences (for persons with arthritis, hypertension, psoriasis and bowel disease). As part of a comprehensive assessment procedure, the instruments were helpful in providing a distinctively "Cayce" perspective on the status of each individual.

    The next step is to collect data from the general population to determine the reliability and validity. You may be able to assist us in this process. We need volunteers who are willing to complete the CCSI, ATLI, and other similar instruments to be used for comparison. Additionally, you are welcome to administer the instruments to others provided that each person is informed of the research nature of the process and no claims are made regarding reliability or validity. Naturally, all information will be kept confidential and used only for research purposes. Here is an overview of the data collection process:

1. Upon request, we will mail you a packet containing the various instruments and instructions. Please let us know if you have a PC with Excel spreadsheet and we will include a disk containing the electronic format for the CCSI and ATLI.

2. You will study the information and sign the informed consent acknowledging that you understand that this is a research project and not a clinical assessment.

3. Complete the instruments and mail them to Meridian Institute. All information will be kept confidential and used only for research purposes.

    Please contact us if you are interested in participating in the data collection process.
 



Photocopying Journal Articles

    Typically, the first step in any research project is a comprehensive literature review. Meridian researchers make extensive use of the medical literature in the design, implementation, and reporting of the diverse health research projects reported in this newsletter.

    Although we are able to obtain many articles from the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) library in Norfolk, Virginia, certain types of journals are often unavailable (especially chiropractic, osteopathic, and naturopathic). EVMS is also a relatively new school, so articles published before 1970 are especially difficult to obtain.

    We need help from volunteers who may have access to medical journal articles and are willing to photocopy them for us. If you live near a major medical school or other institution (such as the National Institutes of Health) that maintains a medical library, please consider helping us. Here is how we envision the process working:

1. Meridian Institute provides a list of articles that are needed. The list is posted on the Meridian website (http://www.meridianinstitute.com/photocop.html) or emailed directly to persons who have expressed an interest in helping.

2. Volunteers contact Meridian Institute to confirm that they are willing to copy specific articles.

3. Within a few days, volunteers FAX or mail the photocopies to Meridian Institute.

4. Meridian Institute will reimburse volunteers for the copying cost (usually 5 - 10 cents per page) as needed.

    If you are interested in volunteering in this capacity, please contact Meridian Institute.
 

 
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