Broadening the horizon for children's health - A qualitative study on the Centro Latino-Americano de Medicina Integrativa Pediátrica.

Affiliation

Tröndle M(1), Stritter W(1), Ghelman R(2), Odone V(2), Seifert G(3).
Author information:
(1)Department of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology, Otto-Heubner Centre for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
(OHC), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.
(2)Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina, Departamento de Pediatria, Instituto de Tratamento do Câncer Infatil
(ITACI), São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
(3)Department of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology, Otto-Heubner Centre for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
(OHC), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany; Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Medicina, Departamento de Pediatria, Instituto de Tratamento do Câncer Infatil
(ITACI), São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this article is to analyze the recently established structure of the unit for pediatric integrative medicine (Portuguese: Unidade de Pediatria Integrativa, UPI), its aims and activities at the Children and Adolescent's Institute and the Institute for the Treatment of Childhood Cancer of the Medical Faculty of the University of São Paulo. To give a complete overview, opinions and views of stakeholders were reflected in the analysis. DESIGN: An ethnographic approach was chosen to provide an overview of the work of UPI through semi-structured qualitative interviews and participant observation. Observational notes, informal conversations and informational material complemented the collected data. The analysis of the transcribed interviews focused on specific questions regarding the unique role of pediatric integrative medicine in a conventional hospital setting and a perspective for the future. RESULTS: The UPI is making use of Complementary and Integrative Medicine based on three major pillars - treatment, research and teaching. The unit is a pioneer for the field of Integrative Medicine in Latin America. Its goal is to improve the health and treatment of children using the methods of Integrative Medicine by generating positive outcomes in patient care and evidence-based research. Further expansion of the activities is planned for the future to promote the exchange and further dissemination of pediatric integrative medicine based on stringent research. CONCLUSIONS: UPI is a novelty on the Latin-American continent and has the potential to contribute significantly to the acceptance and expansion of integrative models by introducing complementary methods in conventional medicine.