Back to Journals » Journal of Pain Research » Volume 2

Long-term outcomes of anthroposophic therapy for chronic low back pain: A two-year follow-up analysis

Authors Hamre H, Witt CM, Kienle GS, Glockmann A, Ziegler R, Willich SN, Kiene H

Published 25 June 2009 Volume 2009:2 Pages 75—85

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S5922

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Harald J Hamre1, Claudia M Witt2, Gunver S Kienle1, Anja Glockmann1, Renatus Ziegler3, Stefan N Willich2,  Helmut Kiene1

1Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology, Freiburg, Germany; 2Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology, and Health Economics,  Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany; 3Society for Cancer Research, Arlesheim, Switzerland

Background: Anthroposophic treatment for chronic low back pain (LBP) includes special artistic and physical therapies and special medications. In a previously published prospective cohort study, anthroposophic treatment for chronic LBP was associated with improvements of pain, back function, and quality of life at 12-month follow-up. These improvements were at least comparable to improvements in a control group receiving conventional care. We conducted a two-year follow-up analysis of the anthroposophic therapy group with a larger sample size.

Methods: Seventy-five consecutive adult outpatients in Germany, starting anthroposophic treatment for discogenic or non-specific LBP of ≥6 weeks’ duration participated in a prospective cohort study. Main outcomes were Hanover Functional Ability Questionnaire (HFAQ; 0–100), LBP Rating Scale Pain Score (LBPRS; 0–100), Symptom Score (0–10), and SF-36 after 24 months.

Results: Eighty-five percent of patients were women. Mean age was 49.0 years. From baseline to 24-month follow-up all outcomes improved significantly; average improvements were: HFAQ 11.1 points (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.5–16.6; p < 0.001), LBPRS 8.7 (95% CI: 4.4–13.0; p < 0.001), Symptom Score 2.0 (95% CI: 1.3–2.8; p < 0.001), SF-36 Physical Component Summary 6.0 (95% CI: 2.9–9.1; p < 0.001), and SF-36 Mental Component Summary 4.0 (95% CI: 1.1–6.8; p = 0.007).

Conclusion: Patients with chronic LBP receiving anthroposophic treatment had sustained improvements of symptoms, back function, and quality of life, suggesting that larger multicenter rigorous studies may be worthwhile.

Keywords: anthroposophy, drug therapy, eurythmy therapy, low back pain, follow-up studies

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]