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Acute and Chronic Pain

Chronic and acute pain are frequently treated in Anthroposophic Healthcare. A variety of studies have investigated its impact (1-12). Case reports describe its procedures (13, 14) and qualitative studies, its basic concepts (15). Most, but not all, studies found a substantial improvement of pain levels, quality of life, sick leave and medication use (1-12).

An example is a recent study (12) from Kairos Rehabilitation Trust in London where a small National Health Service pain team provides eurythmy and rhythmical massage therapies backed by a number of social and work-related activities. A retrospective clinical evaluation was made on the first 30 chronic pain patients to attend the Kairos programme, who had been unresponsive to primary or secondary care pain clinic interventions. Despite initial higher than average levels of disability, there was a statistically significant improvement in quality of life, median average pain intensity and clinical depression, 19 months after participating in the project. Repeat analgesic and psychotropic medication prescriptions were reduced by 46% and use of hospital specialist services reduced by 51%, also, on average, 19 months after leaving the programme. The ‘Kairos Model’ was finalist in the BMJ 2017 Awards for innovation.

January 2018

Dr. med. Gunver S. Kienle*, Dr. med. David McGavin **
* IFAEMM Freiburg at the Witten Herdecke University  *Center for Complementary Medicine, Medical Center, University of Freiburg
** Kairos Rehabilitation Trust, Greenwich, London, UK

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