There are some rules that you should consider when using the Vithoulkas Expert System (VES). They are important to get the best possible results.
- Use the VES with the patient in front of you. VES guides you through an interview. It gives you probable remedies, suggests that you ask questions in a certain direction, telling you to add underlining, etc. You need a minimum of four symptoms to run the VES. Most of the time the VES may draw your attention to remedies you may not have considered.
- Consider the totality of relevant symptoms. Never omit symptoms that might not seem to 'fit' the picture. There is no limit to the number of symptoms you can take into your list. The only consideration is: is this a symptom or not?
- Include mental, general, and local symptoms if they are clearly present in the case. This is necessary for a highly differentiated analysis by the program. Although the VES gives many mental symptoms a higher value than average local symptoms, it evaluates the importance of local symptoms against mental symptoms under several circumstances. It is because of the combination of mental, general, and local symptoms that the VES can work with the highest possible accuracy.
- Make no difference between small and large rubrics. Introduce both! If you think that the value of a rubric is connected with its size, do not worry. The VES will take this into account in its own original way.
- Differentiate symptoms by carefully setting the intensity. If you fail to do this, the VES will remind you to do so.
- Whenever you see Causative symptoms, indicate them as such when taking them into your list.
- VES considers symptoms with intensities of 1 to 4. According to Vithoulkas:
Intensity 1 = Symptom clearly present.
Intensity 2 = Symptom very frequent or very intense.
Intensity 3 = Symptom very frequent and very intense.
Intensity 4 = Symptom very, very frequent and intense.