Integrative paediatrics: a Dutch experience
Article first published online: 15 FEB 2011
© 2011 The Authors. FACT © 2011 Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies
Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 22–27, March 2011
How to Cite
von Rosenstiel, I. A., Schats, W., Bongers, K. and Jong, M. C. (2011), Integrative paediatrics: a Dutch experience. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 16: 22–27. doi: 10.1111/j.2042-7166.2010.01073.x
- Issue published online: 15 FEB 2011
- Article first published online: 15 FEB 2011
- Complementary therapies;
- integrative medicine;
- programme development
Background In 2003 a paediatric integrative medicine (IM) clinic was established in the Slotervaart Hospital, the Netherlands. The clinic provides advice and treatment to inpatient and outpatient children, using a shared-care model with complementary therapists. The clinic also provides a limited range of evidence-based complementary modalities for inpatient children, aimed at decreasing pain, fear and stress.
Objective To describe the successful integration of CAM and IM within a paediatric department of a Dutch teaching hospital.
Materials and methods The clinic was set up through the special interest of the head of the paediatric department, with support from fellow paediatricians, medical specialists, nurses, other staff and hospital board members. A shared-care model with complementary therapists was developed for the outpatient population.
Results The clinic is currently run by paediatricians trained in several complementary modalities, and a group of carefully selected and licensed naturopaths, Ayurvedic practitioners, hypnotherapists, massage therapists, homeopaths, osteopaths, acupuncturists and integrative psychology counsellors. There is close collaboration with the medical librarian who maintains a database of IM literature and provides up-to-date evidence-based literature on specific IM topics.
Conclusions The clinic enjoys a special position in the Dutch healthcare system, but faces specific and unique challenges. Recruitment and retention of physicians and nurses, who are both knowledgeable and skilled in IM, is an important goal for the continuation of the clinic. Two areas need to be closely addressed in the near future: financial viability and a regulatory framework for CAM practitioners in collaborative hospital settings.