Arrangement of Kent’s Repertory

First. – Time. Second. – Conditions {modalities}, in alphabetical succession. Third. – Where there is condition of Pain it is arranged as to:- (a) Locality, (b) Character. (c) Extension….

The same arrangement of each section is used throughout the book so that the sequence once understood the finding of any rubric is very simple. First. – Time. Second. – Conditions {modalities}, in alphabetical succession. Third. – Where there is condition of Pain it is arranged as to:- (a) Locality, (b) Character. (c) Extension.

To illustrate, take a mental symptom Restlessness (page 72):

Restlessness in general, under which are found all those remedies which have developed restlessness in the provers or removed the symptom clinically.

Then as to time. – Day time; morning; forenoon; afternoon; evening; night; midnight, and at some special hour.

Then conditions under which restlessness has been observed (given in their alphabetical order).

Aggravation in open air; driving out of bed; during chill; after dinner; during heat; before, during and after menses; mental labor; during perspiration; on waking; while sitting, and many others.

All these “modalities,” when markedly present in a case, have great selective value.

Let us now examine the section on Generalities. Here we find aggravations, ameliorations, sensations and reactions of the patient, as a whole, to some physical condition, as to pain in general.

Under these rubrics where nothing is specified, aggravation is understood. The arrangement of the generalities is the same as throughout the other sections.

First, time – morning; noon; night; at particular portion of, and at a particular hour.

After time follow general conditions of patient as a whole in alphabetical order. (Aggravations and ameliorations of various parts, head; eye; ear; nose; face; stomach; chest; back; extremities; skin, etc., each is found in the section referring to that part in particular.).

These general aggravations as found under this last section are as follows: Better and worse from ascending; bathing; from cold; from wet and dry; from position; form motion and rest; from pressure; from rubbing, etc.

Under aggravation from cold we have the following particulars: Cold in general; cold air; becoming cold; cold, dry weather; entering a cold place; tendency to take cold; cold, wet weather; cold feeling in blood vessels, bones and inner parts. In looking for aggravations from wet and dry we find under wet: Applications; getting wet; feet; head; perspiration; weather.

Aggravations and ameliorations as to weather conditions and time of year under: Weather and Autumn, warm, wet weather (under Warm); Summer, Storms, as to approach of and during; Spring, wet weather under Wet;

Wind as to cold, warm south, windy and stormy weather; cold, dry and cold, wet weather is found under Cold.

Under this section we find the general character of Pain as to its onset and its disappearance (gradual or sudden).

Its character, as burning; constricting; digging; drawing; jerking; pinching; pressing; stitching; tearing, etc.

Its direction as to across; downward; inward; outward; upward.

We find inserted alphabetically throughout generalities nearly all the pathological nomenclature that there is in the book. Here are listed such rubrics as Anaemia; Arsenical poisoning; Atrophy; Cancerous affection; Caries; Chlorosis; Chorea; Convulsions (various forms); Dropsy; Fai

Dtness (fainting); Glands; Measles; Mercury, abuse of;

Obesity; Quinine, abuse of; Scarlet fever; Syphilis, etc.

The character and frequency of the pulse are found in this section, and it is grouped alphabetically as abnormal, frequent; intermittent; small, slow; full; hard; soft; tense; weak, etc.

Perspiration as to general effect is found here as giving no relief; aggravation after, amelioration after, and suppression of.

The characteristics and particulars of perspiration are found under that Section, page 1257.

Aggravations from eating and drinking and from different foods and drinks, as bacon; beer; bread; butter; fruit; meat; milk; pastry; tea, etc., the kinds and condition of food; dry food; frozen food; hot; rich; salt; sweet; sour and warm drinks and foods. These are all found under foods, while the desires, cravings and aversions to various foods and drinks, hunger and thirst (these being expressed by sensations from the stomach) are found under desires and aversions in the stomach section, page 478.

The general aggravations and ameliorations before, during and after menses are found in the generalities, while all important particulars and common menstrual symptoms are found under Section Genitalia, Female, page 712.

Many particulars having menstrual modalities will be found scattered through all sections of the book, as, for instance, Headaches with menstrual modifications, will be found under Head section. Abdominal distress modified by menses under pain in back section, and son through all conditions.

Through everything throughout the book the same arrangement exists. The aggravation or amelioration of patient as a whole is found under generalities, but when referred to a part or an organ its aggravation or amelioration is always found in its place under the section dealing with that particular part.

Pain, – One of the most frequent symptoms that the physician is requested to remove is pain, and where to find the particular pain symptom in the repertory is most bewildering, unless we are familiar with its arrangement. The plan here is the same as elsewhere, which always carries one from what is more general to what is most particular in its minutest detail. The first list of remedies will be found to cover the time of occurrence. Second, all conditions under which the pain is observed, these are arranged in alphabetical order so that any particular condition may be readily found. Third, the locality of the pain. Fourth, the character of the pain, and last, the part or direction to which the pain extends. Keep this arrangement in mind and you will have no trouble finding that for which you search.

To illustrate, let us examine pain in the extremities, which is the longest and most complicated of all the pain sections.

First (page 1022) we have a list of remedies which have been found to have symptoms of pain in extremities.

Following this are two short rubrics, Right and then Left, and Left then Right. Then follows condition as to time, and then a long list of conditions arranged alphabetically, under which pain in extremities is found, as, before and during chill; after slight exertion; during menses; on motion; rheumatic; syphilitic; wandering, etc.

Then follows a list which localizes in general, as Pain in Bones, in flexor Muscles; Joints, Nails; Upper limbs; Shoulder; Upper arm; Elbow;

Forearm; Wrist; Hand; Fingers, and Thumb. These subdivisions of upper arm are all worked out under same general arrangement, as to time, condition and extension to different parts. Cold; heat; damp; dry; position and motion, as they aggravate and ameliorate in particular, are all found in their alphabetical order.

Then follow the lower limbs, which are divided into their respective parts and which are treated as to time, condition, etc., exactly as the upper limbs. Thus having covered localities in general we proceed to deal with the character of the pain in its various divisions.

Here, again, the whole extremities are analyzed, as under Pain Burning (page 1067); Burning generally, with its time and other conditions.

Burning in the joints and nails.

Burning in upper limbs generally, with time, conditions and extremities.

Burning in all the localities of upper limbs, in each instance with the time, modalities, conditions and extension. Then follow the burnings in the localities of the lower extremities arranged in the same way.

After one characteristic has been gone through exhaustively it passes on to the next kind of pain each in alphabetical order.

Pain whether in head, stomach, abdomen, chest or other part of body in gone through in this same general way into all its exhaustive finalities. This arrangement is so important that it will bear repetition.

First, Pain Generally: As regards time and conditions, Always in alphabetical order.

Second, Pain localized with regard to time, condition and extension.

Third. Character of pain generally with regard to time, condition and extension.

Fourth. Character of pain as related to each locality in its turn (alphabetically) with continued reference to time, conditions and extension.

It is well to remember one point in looking for symptoms in the repertory, and that is, when you cannot find the symptoms as given in the language of the patient, do not despair and throw down the book in disgust, but look for some synonym until you find what you are looking for, and when you have found this, make a cross reference in your repertory so it will be easier the next time.

Again, many fail to use the repertory because they think of symptoms in pathological terms. Symptoms are recorded in the materia medica in the language of the provers who were mostly laymen, and as the repertory is simply and index to the materia medica the rubrics must be in their simple language.

Glen Irving Bidwell