Anthroposophic treatment for pediatric chronic disease is provided by physicians and differs from conventional treatment in the use of special therapies (art therapy, eurythmy [rhythmical movement], rhythmical massage therapy) and special medications.
Results of a study from the Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology, in Freiburg, Germany are reported here.
First, the details.
435 consecutive patients started anthroposophic treatment for any chronic disease.
Average age was 8 year and ranged from 1 to 17 years old.
Patients were followed for 2 years.
Disease severity was assessed from 0 to 10 (worst possible)
â€œDisease Scoreâ€ was based on physicians’ global assessment of severity of the main diagnosis.
Symptom Score was based on caregivers’ assessment of severity of 1 to 6 most relevant symptoms present at the start of the study.
And, the results.
Disease Score improved significantly an average of 3 points.
Symptom Score improved by about 2 points â€” also statistically significant.
These improvements were maintained during the study.
Symptom Score improved similarly in patients not using adjunctive non-anthroposophic therapies within the first 6 months of study.
The bottom line?
The authors concluded, â€œChildren under anthroposophic treatment had long-term improvement of chronic disease symptoms.â€
The study design prevents any conclusions about the comparative value of anthroposophic therapy vs placebo or any alternative therapy.
Cynically, I think the only thing one might conclude is that if you keep kids busy enough, it tends to take their mind off of their condition.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.