Research Projects

European Naturopathic Therapies in Treating Spinal Pain

The prevalence of back- and neck pain is increasing worldwide. This trend not only represents individual suffering, but it also causes a significant burden to the social system and the economy due to the high number of absent employees. In mainstream medicine there are barely evidence based therapy methods. Therefore, European naturopathic methods with a multimodal integrative approach are highly demanded. This project aims to provide evidence in this area, especially in chronic neck pain.

Contact person: Holger Cramer, PhD and Romy Lauche, PhD




Integrative Oncology with emphasis on Breast Cancer

Cancer patients suffer both from the cancer itself and from the side effects of oncological therapies. For example, one third in breast cancer patients suffer from depression and anxiety of recurrence; every second patient suffers from fatigue and insomnia. For 10 years, the Department for Complementary and Integrative Medicine of Kliniken Essen-Mitte (Essen-Central Clinic) has treated cancer patients in its day care unit. This experience led to the later establishment of the Department of Integrative Oncology (in cooperation with the Department of Senology/ Breast Center and the Department of Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology). The clinical care is well documented and evaluated. Complementary supportive therapies will be evaluated as well. The key focus is Mind-Body-Medicine.

Contact person: Anna Paul, PhD and Petra Voiss, MD



Literature (PDF 31kb)


Complementary Medicine in the Guideline Process

Evidence-based components of Complementary Medicine should be systematically integrated in the medical guidelines of the Work Group of Scientific Medical Societies (in German: Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Wissenschaftlichen Medizinischen Fachgesellschaften - AWMF). In this way, these components can become fundamental for physicians when choosing therapy methods in regular medical care. To fulfill this purpose, the chair has created a work group cooperating closely with the German Society of Complementary Medicine (in German: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Naturheilkunde - DGNHK).

The medical guidelines shape the regular medical care increasingly. Physicians, especially younger physicians of the coming generation, orientate their choice of therapies according to the medical guidelines. The medical guidelines are also the fundament of legal decisions and are used in the argumentation in reimbursement cases by health care insurance companies. To work out a medical guideline systematically involves a long time and high personnel costs – one of the reasons why there has been no integration of Complementary Medicine into the medical guidelines until recently. This shortage has negative effects both on the public opinion and on the scientific recognition.

Cooperating closely with the German Society of European Naturopathic Medicine, the chair has created a workgroup with the following tasks:

  • to systematically review different topics in European Naturopathic Medicine
  • to compile meta-analysis in preparation for the update of medical guidelines
  • to prepare guideline documents and conferences
  • to probe potential experts to represent European Naturopathic Medicine as part of the guideline that relates to diagnosis
  • to participate in guideline conferences

Focal aspects of our work are gastroenterology, rheumatic, pneumonological, cardiovascular, metabolic and oncological diseases, as well as chronic pain. A further focus is general medicine. Our cooperation partners are the German Society of Digestion and Metabolism related Diseases (in German: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Verdauungs- und Stoffwechselerkrankungen - DGVS, the German Society of General Medicine (in German: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allgemeinmedizin - DEGAM).

Members of the workgroup:

  • Professor Jost Langhorst, MD - Director
  • Petra Klose, PhD - Literature Research
  • Romy Lauche, PhD - Study Fellow
  • Holger Cramer, PhD - Study Fellow
  • Margarita Schöls, MD - Study Fellow

Contact person: Professor Jost Langhorst, MD


Project Description (PDF 20kb)


KreaRe – Promoting Creativity and Health in older Employees: A Occupational Innovation Strategy

Many corporations are facing the challenge, how to unfold the creativity potential of the growing number of their older employees. Together with the Institute of Applied Innovation Research (German: Institut für angewandte Innovationsforschung e.V. - IAI), the chair looks for life style approaches that promote individual resources following the principles of salutogenesis in occupational health management and adapts these approaches to the work biography of creative employees in research and development departments.

Contact person: Anna Paul, PhD and Nils Altner, PhD



Literature (PDF 21kb)