"I first came across outcome measures in 1998 when I started work as a homeopath in an NHS community menopause clinic in Sheffield along with a medically trained homeopath Dr Pat Strong (MFHom). We had to complete MYMOP forms and Kupperman Menopausal index forms for each patient at every consultation. Neither of us wanted to do this. We believed that we did not have the time, that patients would not want to do it, that it would affect the therapeutic relationship, that the results would show that we were rubbish homeopaths etc. But we had to do it, so we did.

After a few months we discovered that we had both stopped using the Kupperman Menopausal Index forms (our patients did not like the list of closed questions 'do you have symptom x, y, z?'), but we were using MYMOP. Our patients liked the open style questions:
'
choose two symptoms that bother you the most and write them down, now decide how good or bad this has been in the last week(s) and score it by circling a number.....'

We were finding that filling in the MYMOP forms was actually improving our consultations: we were clearer about the focus of treatment from the patients perspective, patients sometimes disclosed information on the forms that they could not verbalise (e.g. low libido, vaginal dryness), and the information made follow up consultations easier if we unclear as to whether the patient was improving or not. We even started using MYMOP with our non-NHS patients.
 
"As the years passed, the pile of MYMOP forms grew. After two years, local researchers at the University of Sheffield used our growing pile of NHS clinic MYMOP forms (anonymised) to compile a report on our NHS Homeopathy service. This helped the service obtain further funding, and helped us be nominated a Best Integrated Practice award from the Foundation for Integrated Health.

                               of how the Making Cases Count programme by Clare Relton, who developed and leads the programme.

This the story

 

I joined the University of Sheffield in late 2003, my colleague and I analysed three years of our MYMOP data and wrote up the audit report. This was then published in the journal of the British Menopause Society. This article in this online peer reviewed journal is now a small piece of the evidence base for homeopathy. 



The value of the information we collected from patients using the MYMOP forms all those years just grew and grew.
When my colleagues and I at the University of Sheffield designed and conducted a randomised controlled trial of treatment by a homeopath for women with frequent and severe hot flushes, we were able to obtain the necessary academic and NHS approvals to conduct this research trial partly because of the recent local data on homeopathic treatment for this condition that we had collected.

"The audit article also helped research into menopausal hot flush  globally as it helped a team of homeopathy researchers design and conduct a randomised controlled trial of treatment by a homeopath in India."

Registered homeopath Gill Upham says, "I used MYMOP in my homeopathy practice in Bolton between 2002 and 2004, when working with SureStart. I then used Clare's audit  to obtain funding from the Council Occupational Health department to work with women with severe menopausal symptoms.  MYMOP helps patients focus on what really matters to them, and they can also see how much they improve once they start treatment."

So start collecting data on your patients now and who knows where it might lead!

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