Outcome of anthroposophic medication therapy in chronic disease: a 12-month prospective cohort study

Drug Des Devel Ther. 2009 Feb 6;2:25-37.


Background: Anthroposophic medications (AMED) are prescribed in 56 countries.

Objective: To study clinical outcomes in patients prescribed AMED for chronic disease.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: 110 medical practices in Germany.

Participants: 665 consecutive outpatients aged 1-71 years, prescribed AMED for mental, respiratory, musculoskeletal, neurological, genitourinary, and other chronic diseases.

Main outcomes: Disease and Symptom Scores (physicians' and patients' assessment, 0-10) and SF-36.

Results: During the first six months, an average of 1.5 AMED per patient was used, in total 652 different AMED. Origin of AMED was mineral (8.0% of 652 AMED), botanical (39.0%), zoological (7.2%), chemically defined (13.0%), and mixed (33.0%). From baseline to six-month-follow-up, all outcomes improved significantly: Disease Score improved by mean 3.15 points (95% confidence interval 2.97-3.34, p < 0.001), Symptom Score by 2.43 points (2.23-2.63, p < 0.001), SF-36 Physical Component Summary by 3.04 points (2.16-3.91, p < 0.001), and SF-36 Mental Component Summary by 5.75 points (4.59-6.92, p < 0.001). All improvements were maintained at 12-month follow-up. Improvements were similar in adult men and women, in children, and in patients not using adjunctive therapies.

Conclusion: Outpatients using AMED for chronic disease had long-term reduction of disease severity and improvement of quality of life.

Keywords: anthroposophy; chronic disease; drug therapy; outcome and process assessment (health care); prospective studies; quality of life.