The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

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    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    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

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