Anthroposophy for children with chronic disease

anthroposophicAnthroposophic 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)
  • “Disease Score” 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 — 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, “Children under anthroposophic treatment had long-term improvement of chronic disease symptoms.”

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.

10/3/09 22:05 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.