An expert consensus-based guideline for the integrative anthroposophic treatment of acute gastroenteritis in children

Complement Ther Med. 2019 Aug;45:289-294. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.04.001. Epub 2019 Apr 22.


Objectives: Acute gastroenteritis is one of the major causes of hospital admission in childhood. The primary objective of the treatment is rehydration, but conventional drug therapies are limited. Therefore, several pediatricians supplement conventional treatment with complementary and alternative therapies. In the two German departments for pediatric integrative medicine, children suffering from an acute gastroenteritis are treated with supportive therapy based on anthroposophic medicine. However, up to now scientifically validated guidelines for these therapies are lacking.

Design: We consulted an expert pool of 50 physicians with expertise in anthroposophic medicine as well as pediatrics and invited them to participate in an online-based Delphi process. Results were analyzed by means of qualitative content analysis with two independent raters using MAXQDA. Using four rounds of questioning, a consensus-based guideline was developed.

Results: A strong consensus (>90%) or consensus (>75-90%) was achieved for 14 of 16 subsections. The guideline describes disease characteristics, the most useful diagnostics, drug as well as non-drug treatment recommendations and advises for a good physician-patient interaction.

Conclusion: The guideline will help clinicians, as well as family doctors, in their daily routine and make anthroposophic medicine more tangible for parents and health insurance companies.

Keywords: Anthroposophic medicine; Delphi process; Integrative medicine; Pediatrics.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease / therapy*
  • Anthroposophy / psychology*
  • Child
  • Complementary Therapies / standards*
  • Consensus
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Gastroenteritis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Integrative Medicine / standards*
  • Male
  • Physicians / standards
  • Referral and Consultation / standards