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Patient Perspective in Anthroposophic Medicine Research

Anthroposophic Medicine/AM aims to enhance health and transformation in human beings. How can we be sure that AM has realised what AM is aiming for? There are two main perspectives to be used: On one side, research may ask, how patients perceive anthroposophic interventions and on the other side, research may ask, what patients need. For each perspective different research methods are available to realise this aim. This overview is limited to methods and aspects of the patient perspective in medical research already to be found in the AM literature. Other methods are available and can be added. Currently the following methods and approaches have been used:

1. Evaluation of patient’s perception of anthroposophic medicine

  • using qualitative methods, for example to evaluate stress reduction and eurythmy therapy (Berger et al., 2015a 
  • using reviews of qualitative studies of patient perception, for example of Viscum album (mistletoe) therapies (Evans et al., 2016)
  • collecting data regarding satisfaction with the anthroposophic service compared with conventional medicine (Esch et al., 2008)
  • using existing patient relevant outcome measures (like self efficacy) to evaluate patient perception of treatment (Büssing, 2010; Büssing et al., 2017)
  • developing specific measuresments to evaluate patient-relevant outcomes  (Büssing, 2010; Kröz et al., 2013; Koster et al., 2016; Baars et al., 2017; Kröz et al., 2017)


2. asking patients what they need 

  • using reviews of existing studies (Franzel et al., 2013)
  • using different qualitative methods even including methods to support patients in recognition and reflection on treatment effects from an anthroposophic perspectiv, including Drawings (Cramer et al., 2013; Lauche et al., 2012; Böning, 2016)
  • using methods to include patients in clinical decision making (Berger et al., 2015b; Schwarz et al., 2016)
  • empowering and improving patients’ competencies in dealing with the health care system (Berger et al., 2010; Berger, 2013; Berger et al., 2013; Stock et al., 2015)


3. supporting patients in self management and self efficacy and health literacy when preventing or dealing with their (chronic) diseases

  • development of structured self - management programs (Berger et al., 2017a)
  • assessing  aspects of Anthroposophic Medicine in this field (Baars et al., 2017)
  • individual support in self - efficacy  through introspection and biographic reflection (Michaelis et al., 2012; Michaelis et al., 2014; Michaelis et al., 2017)
  • regarding the development of patient information, decision aids material and patient education as a complex intervention using existing tools and scientific methods (Muhlhauser and Berger, 2002; Steckelberg et al., 2005; Berger et al., 2008)


4. using patient perception to develop theoretical concepts or study designs

  • developing study designs from patient perspective and supporting patients in realising their own study designs (Musial, 2015; Berger et al., 2017b)
  • developing theoretical concepts based on patient perception (Berger et al., 2015a)

Read more ... Exemplary literature

June 2018

For further details contact:
Dr. Bettina Berger,
Chair of Medical Theory, Integrative and Anthroposophic Medicine,
Research Associate,,
Tel.: 0049-2330- 624763