Dr Michael Popplewell has been a successful practitioner since 1995. He has a Masters in Bioelectric Engineering (Research) and a PhD. In 2014 he was one of only 16 junior presenters and the only Australian selected from hundreds of worldwide applications to present at the prestigious SAR conference in Beijing.
Diagnostic reliability is a cornerstone in practice, but how does your diagnosis compare to other practitioners? In this practical workshop, you will get the chance to compare how your TCM diagnosis compares to other seminar participants in a non-confronting way, using a Delphi panel approach, with live patient interviews taking place in the session.
A new format for recording your TCM diagnosis called the Traditional Chinese Medical Diagnostic Descriptor (TCMDD) will be introduced and levels of inter-rater agreement using both the classic TCM and the TCMDD approaches will be calculated using Gwet’s AC2, the appropriate chance removed inter-rater statistics.
Diagnostic reliability is a crucial aspect of any therapy, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Recently, a series of three papers were published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine (JACM) by the present authors in a special edition reporting on diagnostic reliability and pattern recognition.
Methods and Results
In these papers, diagnostic reliability of four or six practitioners, using the contemporary TCM diagnostic format, interviewing 35 patients drawn from an open population was calculated. The result (19% simple agreement) was much lower than would be considered acceptable to use as a basis for the confident application of interventions. This should be a cause for concern.
A solution was proposed: a novel format for recording a TCM diagnosis called the Traditional Chinese Medical Diagnostic Descriptor (TCMDD). The diagnostic reliability of the same 35 subjects used in the first paper was calculated. Simple agreement of 80 ± 2% and Gwet’s AC2 of .067 ± 0.03 was achieved.
A significant improvement in diagnostic agreement when the TCMDD is used and should be powerfully persuasive for serious consideration of adoption of for widespread use. The TCMDD facilitates its increase in diagnostic accord by capturing the essence of TCM diagnoses without significant decreases in diagnostic detail and provides a holistic representation of patients’ health. In this talk, an explanation of how to use the TCMDD and the advantages of using this new format in clinical practice will be outlined.
The road forward for further possible improvement in diagnostic reliability will also be discussed.