Vol. 3 No. 4 July, 1999
MERIDIAN INSTITUTE NEWS
Included in this issue:
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Please contact us if you are
interested in participating in the data collection process.
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
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
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.