Christine Holmberg

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany

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Publications (15)33.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Limited research has been conducted on contemporary spiritual healing in European countries. The aim of this article is to report how German healers and their clients experienced and perceived the outcomes of spiritual healing and which explanations they use to describe the perceived effects.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 07/2014; 14(1):240. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Policy efforts focus on a reorientation of health care systems towards primary prevention. To guide such efforts, we analyzed the role of primary prevention in general practice and general practitioners' (GPs) attitudes toward primary prevention.
    BMC Family Practice 05/2014; 15(1):103. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To improve clinical study developments for elderly populations, we aim to understand how they transfer their experiences into validated, standardised self-completed study measurement instruments. We analysed how women (mean 78±8 years of age) participating in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) cognised study instruments used to evaluate outcomes of the intervention. The interview study was nested in an RCT on chronic neck pain using common measurement instruments situated in an elderly community in Berlin, Germany, which comprised of units for independent and assisted-living options. The sample (n=20 women) was selected from the RCT sample (n=117, 95% women, mean age 76 (SD±8) years). Interview participants were selected using a purposive sampling list based on the RCT outcomes. We asked participants about their experiences completing the RCT questionnaires. Interviews were analysed thematically, then compared with the questionnaires. Interviewees had difficulties in translating complex experiences into a single value on a scale and understanding the relationship of the questionnaires to study aims. Interviewees considered important for the trial that their actual experiences were understood by trial organisers. This information was not transferrable by means of the questionnaires. To rectify these difficulties, interviewees used strategies such as adding notes, adding response categories or skipping an item. Elderly interview participants understood the importance of completing questionnaires for trial success. This led to strategies of completing the questionnaires that resulted in 'missing' or ambiguous data. To improve data collection in elderly populations, educational materials addressing the differential logics should be developed and tested. Pilot testing validated instruments using cognitive interviews may be particularly important in such populations. Finally, when the target of an intervention is a subjective experience, it seems important to create a method by which participants can convey their personal experiences. These could be nested qualitative studies. ISRCTN77108101807.
    BMJ Open 01/2014; 4(3):e004363. · 1.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic pain is prevalent in elderly populations. The goals of this study were 1) to understand the results of a randomized clinical trial - Qigong and Exercise Therapy for Elderly Patients with Chronic Neck Pain (QIBANE) - that showed no difference between qigong, exercise therapy, and no-treatment on quality of life, and 2) to understand how elderly individuals with chronic pain experience interventions of qigong and exercise therapy. A qualitative interview study was conducted with 20 QIBANE participants. Interviews asked about motivation for and expectations of trial participation, experiences with the exercise classes (qigong or exercise therapy), and changes in pain experience. Interviews were transcribed, entered into the software program ATLAS.ti, and coded thematically by two coders. Content analysis was performed. All interviewees reflected positively on their QIBANE experience and described their participation in QIBANE as helpful. However, what was discussed in both groups when they talked about "positive experiences" in the study differed between the two groups. For example, themes that emerged in the exercise-therapy group related to difficulties associated with aging and staying physically active. In the interviews with qigong group members, emergent themes related to qigong as a method that improved bodily experiences and influenced daily activities. The effects that exercise therapy and qigong have on an elderly population cannot be captured by health-related quality-of-life measurements, such as the Short Form (36) Health Survey. Broader concepts of quality of life that include the concepts of self-efficacy and positive affect may be more appropriate. The results presented in this study suggest that for this population group, the approach of patient-centered outcomes is especially pertinent in order to design meaningful intervention studies in the elderly. This means that research questions, interventions, and outcome measurements need to take into account the special situation of elderly people.
    Clinical Interventions in Aging 01/2014; 9:403-10. · 2.65 Impact Factor
  • Christine Holmberg
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:: Breast cancer patients experience profound life changes that include feelings of fear years after concluding treatment. OBJECTIVE:: The aim of this article was to understand the nature and origin of the persistent worry women experience after breast cancer treatment. METHODS:: Materials from participant observation of an oncology ward and from interviews with 17 first-time breast cancer patients, 4 oncologists, and 10 nurses were analyzed. Interpretation of materials was guided by theoretical concepts such as embodiment and liminality to understand the phenomenological aspects and cultural shaping of the illness experience. RESULTS:: Interviewees felt healthy at the time of diagnosis. It was the physician's word that initiated the illness process through the experience of shock. Nurses' work and therapeutic emplotment were instrumental in guiding the women to overcome the shock and engage in treatment. Study participants' lives were restructured under biomedical conditions. This included mistrust toward their bodies. Because of the mode of diagnosis and the initial shock, long-term fear can be seen as an integral part of the experience of having had breast cancer. CONCLUSIONS:: The study participants' sense of being in the world had changed in that their bodies had become objects unto themselves, dangerous objects. Fear became part of women's lives. To control the fear, women relied on biomedical practices to interpret bodily sensations. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:: Therapeutic interventions and practices of care that facilitate a reconnection of trust with the (physical) body should be included in the care of posttreatment patients.
    Cancer nursing 02/2013; · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    Christine Holmberg, Benno Brinkhaus, Claudia Witt
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Integrative medicine (IM) is currently the most commonly used term to describe the integration of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into conventional medicine. In the definitions of IM the most important feature is the focus on evidence as crucial factor for therapeutic decision-making. However, there are discussions on the term "integrative medicine" with the most notable critique from within CAM that it describes the integration of complementary methods into conventional institutions and into a "conventional framework of thinking". The aim of this qualitative study was to understand the thoughts of leading experts on IM and on the scientific debate in the field as well as their personal opinions about terminology in general. METHODS: We have conducted semi-standardized interviews with ten leading experts in the field of CAM and integrative medicine in the USA, England, and Germany, who have had leading positions at medical schools or the NIH in 2010 and 2011. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed using content analysis with the qualitative analysis software maxqda. RESULTS: Overall the current terminology was seen as a problem, although most experts agreed that the term "integrative medicine" (IM) described well what they do or they think is useful for medical care. The terminology debate was discussed from four perspectives: 1) from the perspective of medical practice, 2) from the perspective of research, 3) from the perspective of public relations, and 4) from the perspective of health care delivery. These perspectives may be used to evaluate the appropriateness of different terms in use in the field. When interviewees discussed the terminology question, they also discussed the type of health care system they envisioned. Such reflections led the interviewees to caution about too narrow a focus on the terminology question. The question of naming was one about influencing and changing medicine. CONCLUSION: The discussion of the experts demonstrated that the discussion about terminology is an important debate about the shaping of medicine. The experts discussed terminology in the light of "how health care systems" should look like in the future.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11/2012; 12(1):218. · 2.08 Impact Factor
  • 12. Deutscher Kongress für Versorgungsforschung, Berlin; 10/2012
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    ABSTRACT: There is a major gradient in burden of disease between Central and Eastern Europe compared to Western Europe. Many of the underlying causes and risk factors are amenable to public health interventions. The purpose of the study was to explore perceptions of public health experts from Central and Eastern European countries on public health challenges in their countries. We invited 179 public health experts from Central and Eastern European countries to a 2-day workshop in Berlin, Germany. A total of 25 public health experts from 14 countries participated in May 2008. The workshop was structured into 8 sessions of 1.5 hours each, with the topic areas covering coronary heart disease, stroke, prevention, obesity, alcohol, tobacco, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. The workshop was recorded and the proceedings transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were entered into atlas.ti for content analysis and coded according to the session headings. After analysis of the content of each session discussion, a re-coding of the discussions took place based on the themes that emerged from the analysis. Themes discussed recurred across disease entities and sessions. Major themes were the relationship between clinical medicine and public health, the need for public health funding, and the problems of proving the effectiveness of disease prevention. Areas for action identified included the need to engage with the public, to create a better scientific basis for public health interventions, to identify "best practices" of disease prevention, and to implement registries/surveillance instruments. The need for improved data collection was seen throughout all areas discussed, as was the need to harmonize data across countries. To reduce the burden of disease across Europe, closer collaboration of countries across Europe seems important in order to learn from each other. A more credible scientific basis for effective public health interventions is urgently needed. The monitoring of health trends is crucial to evaluate the impact of public health programmes.
    BMC Public Health 04/2012; 12:311. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    Claudia M Witt, Christine Holmberg
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    ABSTRACT: In Western countries, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is more and more provided by practitioners and family doctors. To base this reality of health care provision on an evidence-base, academic medicine needs to be included in the development. In the study we aimed to gain information on a structured approach to include CAM in academic health centers. We conducted a semistructured interview study with leading experts of integrative medicine to analyze strategies of existing academic institutions of integrative medicine. The study sample consisted of a purposive sample of ten leaders that have successfully integrated CAM into medical schools in the USA, Great Britain, and Germany and the Director of the National Center for Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Analysis was based on content analysis. The prerequisite to foster change in academic medicine was a strong educational and professional background in academic medicine and research methodologies. With such a skill set, the interviewees identified a series of strategies to align themselves with colleagues from conventional medicine, such as creating common goals, networking, and establishing well-functioning research teams. In addition, there must be a vision of what should be needed to be at the center of all efforts in order to implement successful change.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2012; 2012:652546. · 1.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common sexually transmitted infection and is aetiologically linked with a number of health problems. In Germany, HPV vaccination for cervical cancer prevention is recommended for girls aged 12-17 years since 2007; however, a coordinated national immunization programme does not exist. We assessed whether socio-demographic factors and sexual history are associated with awareness of HPV and the HPV vaccine, vaccine uptake and HPV-related knowledge among young women and men. METHODS: In 2010, a survey was conducted with 18- to 25-year-old students from six vocational schools in Berlin. A total of 259 women and 245 men completed the questionnaire that included socio-demographic and sexual behaviour characteristics, questions about HPV awareness, vaccine status, reasons for not wanting to get vaccinated and HPV-related knowledge. RESULTS: Among women aged 18-20 years (those eligible for reimbursed vaccination), 67% were vaccinated. At trend level, women with low education and those without past sexual intercourse were less likely to be vaccinated. Ninety-five per cent of the women and 80% of the men were aware of the 'vaccine against cervical cancer', but only half of the women and 25% of the men had heard of HPV. Knowledge was poor (M = 2.8; SD = 2.10 for women and M = 1.5; SD = 1.49 for men; possible range 0-11). Fifty-one per cent of the women and 42% of the men thought that only women can be infected with HPV and the majority did not know that HPV is sexually transmitted. CONCLUSION: Results indicate a need for better education about HPV that should extend beyond its link with cervical cancer.
    The European Journal of Public Health 12/2011; · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study is to assess the use of a web-based tool to calculate the 5-year risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, the German Diabetes Risk Score (DRS), in a real-life setting. Recorded web server log information and user entered data (n=24,495) was analyzed. To distinguish information seeking behavior between high- and low-risk DRS records, a sub-sample was created to compare data entries of the highest and lowest risk quintile (n=5046). To learn more on the information seeking behavior of DRS users we created a dataset on the characteristics of those who calculate more than one DRS (n=11,902). Most users (61%) entered the DRS without a referring website. Forty percent of users did not know their waist circumference. Visit duration among high-risk DRS records was almost 1.5 min longer compared to low-risk DRS records (p-value<0.001). Those who calculated multiple DRS were associated with a higher first DRS and male gender. Understanding users' website utilization is an important step to evaluate risk calculator websites. A range of media should be used conjointly to raise type 2 diabetes mellitus risk awareness. Risk websites should be linked to patient information pages.
    Patient Education and Counseling 04/2011; 83(1):106-12. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    Christine Holmberg, Mary Daly, Worta McCaskill-Stevens
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    ABSTRACT: AIM: To report the use of a risk score for risk treatment decision-making in women at risk for breast cancer in order to better understand their decision-making situation. BACKGROUND: Tamoxifen and Raloxifene are medications that have been proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer. However, women who understand their personal net benefit from Tamoxifen use chose not to take the medication. To understand this decision, the paper investigates the use of epidemiological risk information in the decision-making process for risk-reducing treatments. METHODS: The narratives of two women are analyzed as they recall their risk score and explain their decision-making process concerning participation in the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR). Both in-depth interviews follow a narrative approach and were recorded in a U.S. cancer center in 2005. RESULTS: Thinking about risk by analyzing the chances of developing a disease is specific to complex decision-making situations. The associated risk-benefit analysis has to be conducted qualitatively as epidemiological risk information cannot know all details of a woman's life. In addition, a woman's decision is based on the perception of the condition as risk or as disease. Women are willing to treat risk that is perceived as disease, especially when it is based on bodily measurements on which the treatment has an effect. Women are not willing to treat a risk not perceived as disease. CONCLUSION: The net benefit of a treatment as calculated based on epidemiological data cannot easily be translated onto an individual's life. Thus, the complex experience of a woman's life at risk is highly important in decision-making situations. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: The ambiguity of statistical risk estimates should be acknowledged and the women's evaluation of her risk valued in risk treatment decision-making.
    Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness 12/2010; 2(4):271-280.
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    ABSTRACT: Risk scores for the primary prevention of chronic diseases in healthy adults are frequently recommended but often underused by general practitioners (GPs). The objectives of this study were to assess the use of and attitudes regarding the use of risk scores among GPs and to identify possible barriers to use. Between November 7, 2007, and April 4, 2008, 68 GPs in Berlin, Germany, participated in the survey, and 24 were additionally invited to participate in focus groups. Quantitative data were analyzed descriptively and qualitative data were analyzed according to grounded theory. Survey data of 42 GPs indicated that physicians regularly perform risk assessments for healthy patients, although most did not use risk scores. The usefulness of risk scores was rated largely positive. Focus groups revealed some confusion about the definition of risk scores and that participants resisted general use. Barriers to risk-score use were lack of lifestyle recommendations, regulatory constraints, the patient's role, and lack of accuracy. Suggestions for improvement included computerized risk prediction for multiple diseases simultaneously, better computer-generated visual presentation, and the integration of lifestyle recommendations. The GPs perceive the routine use of risk scores as infeasible because of regulatory constraints and the nature of the physician-patient relationship. These factors need to be considered to increase risk-score use. Training of physicians could also help somewhat to overcome underuse. Use of computerized approaches that enable the prediction of risks for several chronic diseases simultaneously and improved computer-generated visual presentation may increase acceptance. Risk profiles should further be related to recommendations for health-behavior modification.
    Archives of internal medicine 04/2010; 170(8):719-24. · 11.46 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Integrative Medicine 01/2009; 1(4):193-194. · 0.56 Impact Factor
  • European Journal of Integrative Medicine 01/2008; 1:15-15. · 0.56 Impact Factor