IM project in Máxima Medical Center

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The Louis Bolk Institute and Van Praag Institute have launched a project in the Máxima Medical Center in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, to offer care based on the principles of Integrative Medicine (IM). The project focuses on patients recovering from treatment of heart and lung conditions. The objective is to develop an IM module alongside regular care that closely fits the needs of both patients and medical professionals. The first phase of the project is to make an overview of effective complementary therapies based on the scientific literature. In addition, interviews and focus group discussions will be held with all parties involved. These two steps ensure that the complementary therapies implemented in the project's second phase will be scientific evidence-based and developed with patients' input.

Positive health

Rehabilitation in hospitals often focuses on patients' physical recovery and behavioural change. Less attention is paid to factors such as mental well-being and ways to lead a meaningful life with an illness. Complementary care, such as mindfulness training, yoga or acupuncture, may offer additional possibilities for patients to self-manage their recovery and increase their resilience. This approach is in line with the new concept of positive health.

90% of Dutch hospitals offer Integrative Medicine

A study published in 2015 (in Dutch) shows that 90% of hospitals, mental health centres and nursing homes in the Netherlands provide one or more forms of complementary care. The Máxima Medical Center will be incorporating Integrative Medicine into their new centre for rehabilitation and prevention of chronic illnesses ('Flow'). The number of chronic patients and related healthcare costs keep increasing. Integrative Medicine could contribute to a more sustainable healthcare system and cost-effective, patient-centred treatment programmes.