Integrative Cancer Therapies (2020-07-01)

Evaluation of an Integrative Care Program in Pediatric Oncology

  • Wiebke Stritter MSc,
  • Britta Rutert PhD,
  • Angelika Eggert MD,
  • Alfred Längler MD,
  • Christine Holmberg PhD,
  • Georg Seifert MD

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19


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Purpose: This article discusses the results of an evaluation of the one-year implementation period of an integrative care program at a pediatric oncology ward, which consists of integrative care treatments offered three times a week to the patients. The guiding questions are how the model was implemented, which factors have to be considered for successful implementation, and which factors showed to be obstacles during implementation. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was applied for data saturation. Qualitative data consist of participant observations and informal conversations during the implementation phase. All observational records were filed in the data program MAXQDA. For the quantitative data, all integrative care treatments applied on the intensive care unit were documented and subsequently filed in an Excel sheet. Both sets of data were analyzed for the evaluation. Results: Four main thematic clusters influenced the implementation: (1) the organization and structure of the intensive care unit; (2) mood and atmosphere; (3) feedback on treatment; and (4) time and experience. All factors are interlinked and cannot be looked at independently. Results of the quantitative data show that the most frequent used treatments were those with calming and relaxing effects, followed by treatments for stomachache, nausea, and obstipation. Conclusions: The implementation of an integrative model of care is a process that demands thorough understanding of the complex setting of the ward, ongoing adaptation to the structures and organization of the ward, and the integration of factors like feedback, time, atmosphere, and the mood of parents, patients, and nurses.