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01-09-2016 | Uitgave 9/2016

Quality of Life Research 9/2016

Patient-centered outcomes on quality of life and anthroposophic healthcare: a qualitative triangulation study

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 9/2016
Evi B. Koster, Erik W. Baars, Diana M. J. Delnoij



To provide a qualitative investigation of aspects that matter to patients regarding quality of life (QOL) and other perceived treatment effects of anthroposophic healthcare (AH). It is a first step in the development of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) for AH. Hence, it will contribute to the evaluation of AH quality from patients’ perspectives.


Within-method triangulation of four qualitative data sources is: (1) Survey of 2063 patients of AH general practitioners; single open item; (2) Survey of 34 patients of AH nurses; single open item; (3) and (4) Sixteen semi-structured interviews with patients. The data sources contained patients’ qualitative reports on contribution of treatment to QOL, other perceived treatment effects and/or quality of care aspects. Content analysis Construction of items and domains by open, axial and selective coding.


Twelve domains regarding quality of life are found: Recovery/Symptom reduction, Active contribution/Autonomy, General well-being, Meaning, Rest/Relaxation, Functioning, Energy/Strength, Care relationship, Natural healing, Mindful inner attitude, Being well informed and Social relations. The interviews demonstrate relations between domains.


The findings give a comprehensive insight into aspects of care that are relevant to patients, providing a first step to develop PROMs for AH. Findings show a broadening of domains compared to existing measurement instruments and show close similarities with the recently developed concept of “positive health.” Extending QOL instruments with a broader set of domains would give concrete tools to improve evaluation of quality of care and make this evaluation more in line with aspects that matter to AH patients.

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