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Outcome of anthroposophic medication therapy in chronic disease: A 12-month prospective cohort study

Authors Harald J Hamre, Claudia M Witt, Anja Glockmann, Renatus Ziegler, Gunver S Kienle et al

Published 8 January 2008 Volume 2008:2 Pages 25—37

Harald J Hamre1, Claudia M Witt2, Anja Glockmann1, Renatus Ziegler3, Gunver S Kienle1, 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 medications (AMED) are prescribed in 56 countries.

Objective: To study clinical outcomes in patients prescribed AMED for chronic disease.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: 110 medical practices in Germany.

Participants: 665 consecutive outpatients aged 1–71 years, prescribed AMED for mental, respiratory, musculoskeletal, neurological, genitourinary, and other chronic diseases.

Main outcomes: Disease and Symptom Scores (physicians’ and patients’ assessment, 0–10) and SF-36.

Results: During the first six months, an average of 1.5 AMED per patient was used, in total 652 different AMED. Origin of AMED was mineral (8.0% of 652 AMED), botanical (39.0%), zoological (7.2%), chemically defined (13.0%), and mixed (33.0%). From baseline to six-month follow-up, all outcomes improved significantly: Disease Score improved by mean 3.15 points (95% confidence interval 2.97–3.34, p 0.001), Symptom Score by 2.43 points (2.23–2.63, p 0.001), SF-36 Physical Component Summary by 3.04 points (2.16–3.91, p 0.001), and SF-36 Mental Component Summary by 5.75 points (4.59–6.92, p 0.001). All improvements were maintained at 12-month follow-up. Improvements were similar in adult men and women, in children, and in patients not using adjunctive therapies.

Conclusion: Outpatients using AMED for chronic disease had long-term reduction of disease severity and improvement of quality of life.

Keywords: anthroposophy, chronic disease, drug therapy, outcome and process assessment (health care), prospective studies, quality of life

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