PubMed - Steiner Anthroposophic health care - an assessment
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
Glob Adv Health Med. 2013 Nov;2(6):20-31. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2012.087. Anthroposophic medicine: an integrative medical system originating in europe. Kienle GS1, Albonico HU2, Baars E3, Hamre HJ4, Zimmermann P5, Kiene H1.
Anthroposophic medicine is an integrative multimodal treatment system based on a holistic understanding of man and nature and of disease and treatment. It builds on a concept of four levels of formative forces and on the model of a three-fold human constitution.
Anthroposophic medicine is integrated with conventional medicine in large hospitals and medical practices. It applies medicines derived from plants, minerals, and animals; art therapy, eurythmy therapy, and rhythmical massage; counseling; psychotherapy; and specific nursing techniques such as external embrocation.
Anthroposophic healthcare is provided by medical doctors, therapists, and nurses.
A Health-Technology Assessment Report and its recent update identified 265 clinical studies on the efficacy and effectiveness of anthroposophic medicine. The outcomes were described as predominantly positive.
These studies as well as a variety of specific safety studies found no major risk but good tolerability. Economic analyses found a favorable cost structure. Patients report high satisfaction with anthroposophic healthcare. PMID: 24416705
Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 Jan;3(1):54-70. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2013.010. Overview of the Publications From the Anthroposophic Medicine Outcomes Study (AMOS): A Whole System Evaluation Study. Hamre HJ1, Kiene H2, Ziegler R3, Tröger W4, Meinecke C5, Schnürer C6, Vögler H7, Glockmann A8, Kienle GS9.
Anthroposophic medicine is a physician-provided complementary therapy system that was founded by Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman. Anthroposophic therapy includes special medicinal products, artistic therapies, eurythmy movement exercises, and special physical therapies.
The Anthroposophic Medicine Outcomes Study (AMOS) was a prospective observational multicenter study of 1631 outpatients starting anthroposophic therapy for anxiety disorders, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, low back pain, migraine, and other chronic indications under routine conditions in Germany. AMOS INCORPORATED TWO FEATURES PROPOSED FOR THE EVALUATION OF INTEGRATIVE THERAPY SYSTEMS:
(1) a sequential approach, starting with the whole therapy system (use, safety, outcomes, perceived benefit), addressing comparative effectiveness and proceeding to the major system components (physician counseling, anthroposophic medicinal products, art therapy, eurythmy therapy, rhythmical massage therapy) and
(2) a mix of different research methods to build an information synthesis, including pre-post analyses, prospective comparative analyses, economic analyses, and safety analyses of individual patient data.
AMOS fostered two methodological innovations for the analysis of single-arm therapy studies (combined bias suppression, systematic outcome comparison with corresponding cohorts in other studies) and the first depression cost analysis worldwide comparing primary care patients treated for depression vs depressed patients treated for another disorder vs nondepressed patients. A total of 21 peer-reviewed publications from AMOS have resulted.
This article provides an overview of the main research questions, methods, and findings from these publications: anthroposophic treatment was safe and was associated with clinically relevant improvements in symptoms and quality of life without cost increase; improvements were found in all age, diagnosis, and therapy modality groups and were retained at 48-month follow-up; nonrespondent bias, natural recovery, regression to the mean, and adjunctive therapies together could explain a maximum of 37% of the improvement.
Anthroposophic medicine; art therapy; drug therapy; eurythmy therapy; observational studies; review; rhythmical massage therapy; whole system evaluation