Dr. Wolfgang Hevert Prize 2020: Stress reduction through personal initiative improves course of Crohn's disease

On November 6, the Dr. Wolfgang Hevert Prize was awarded for the seventh time under the motto "New paths in naturopathy". The psychologist Nina Bauer, doctoral candidate at the Clinic for Integrative Medicine and Naturopathy of the University of Bamberg, was awarded the prize, which is endowed with 10,000 euros. With her planned study project, she wants to prove that patients with Crohn's disease can be empowered to promote their recovery through a stress and lifestyle therapy and to achieve a high quality of life despite their illness. Mathias Hevert, managing director of Hevert-Arzneimittel and deputy chair of the board of the Hevert-Foundation, emphasized the importance of the planned study project for naturopathy during the award ceremony. Due to COVID-19 the ceremony took place as a video conference .

Since 2010, the Hevert-Foundation has been awarding the Dr. Wolfgang Hevert Prize every two years in cooperation with Hevert-Arzneimittel GmbH & Co. KG. An independent jury of experts awards planned, scientific, non-commercial study projects dealing with questions regarding European naturopathy and associated therapeutic approaches such as homeopathy. This year's prize winner is also taking a pioneering approach and thus a new path with her work.

Self-recovery and high quality of life

Nina Bauer, doctoral student at the Clinic for Integrative Medicine and Naturopathy at the University of Bamberg, receives the Dr. Wolfgang Hevert Prize 2020, endowed with 10,000 euros, for her planned study on stress reduction in patients with Crohn's disease using naturopathic methods.

Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammation of the bowel, is one of the diseases that are significantly influenced by stress and lifestyle. Nina Bauer wants to prove with her research project that a substantial improvement of the situation can be achieved through salutogenetic elements: "In the randomized study I use a naturopathic stress and lifestyle therapy, with which the patient himself develops the ability to promote his recovery and in the long run to be able to attain a high quality of life despite his illness," explains the prize winner. "I am proud and enthusiastic that my project has been awarded the Dr. Wolfgang Hevert Prize and is also financially supported.”

The study divides patients randomly into two groups who experience the same lifestyle therapy treatment with a time delay. Physical, psychological, social and behavioral changes are identified. Furthermore, the doctoral candidate collects laboratory parameters such as blood and stool samples, performs confocal laser endomicroscopy, and collects additional data via questionnaires, diaries, and qualitative interviews. By 2022 the results should be evaluated. Lifestyle therapy is not a new discipline of naturopathy and mindfulness towards oneself as a factor influencing one's own quality of life is well known. Through scientific proof and evidence-based investigation, the applicant creates an important basis for the use of naturopathic therapies.

High quality of submissions

Mathias Hevert (l.), managing director of Hevert-Arzneimittel as well as deputy chair of the Hevert-Foundation, and professor Harald Walach (right), medical university Poznan, Poland, as well as guest professor at the University of Witten-Herdecke (philosophical foundations of psychology), congratulate this year’s winner Nina Bauer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the award ceremony took place at a distance by video conference from the Berlin office of the Hevert Foundation.

Prof. Dr. med. Jost Langhorst (right), chief physician at the Clinic for Integrative Medicine and Naturopathy at the University of Bamberg, supervised the dissertation of the prize winner. The psychologist works there today as a lifestyle therapist as well as a research assistant and doctoral candidate. But not only the winner Nina Bauer, also the majority of the nearly 20 submissions showed, according to the renowned jury, a high quality regarding the study planning and a high relevance of the topics. Therefore choosing the winning project was not an easy task for the naturopathy expert Prof. Dr. med. Karin Kraft of the University of Rostock, the clinical psychologist Prof. Dr. Dr. phil. Harald Walach and the expert for biological medicine of the University of Milan, general practitioner Dr. med. Rainer Matejka. The winning research project was particularly convincing regarding the potential benefits for the therapy, the relevance for the healthcare system and the scientific significance for naturopathy.

"From our point of view, the jury made a good choice," say the siblings and board members of the Hevert-Foundation, Sarah, Mathias and Marcus Hevert. "The work of Ms. Bauer fits the vision of the eponym of the prize, our father Dr. Wolfgang Hevert (deceased in 2003), who has worked tirelessly for naturopathy and innovations in naturopathic therapy approaches." With his commitment and energy, the doctor and pharmacist Dr. Wolfgang Hevert has made a major contribution to the development of holistic medicine.

Freedom of Research

In addition to financial recognition, the evaluation focuses on how original the question of the project is. The innovative character is already evident here. Other criteria assessed by the jury include the quality of the study or trial protocol, the possible relevance to the improvement or acceptance of the therapeutic approach, and the therapeutic or scientific usefulness of the expected results. A specific topic is not specified in order to preserve the freedom of research. The next time the prize will be awarded is in 2022 and new, innovative projects can then be submitted again.

Overview of previous prize winners since 2016

The coveted Dr. Wolfgang Hevert Prize was established in 2006 and has been awarded every two years since 2010.

2020: "The effect of a stress reduction and lifestyle modification program within the framework of naturopathic lifestyle therapy on the quality of life and symptoms of patients with Crohn's disease", Nina Bauer (M.Sc. Psychology), Clinic for Integrative Medicine and Naturopathy, Klinikum Am Bruderwald of the Sozialstiftung Bamberg

2018: “Better together? A randomized placebo-controlled trial assessing the effects of vitamins D and K2 on cognition: the Vita-DKcog study“, Dr. Jacqueline A. Pettersen, Prince George, British Colombia, Canada.

2016: “Functional and structural imaging in children with attention deficit disorder with or without hyperactivity (AD(H)D) during homeopathic and conventional therapy”, Dr. med Klaus von Ammon, Bern, Switzerland.

About the Hevert-Foundation

Social responsibility and sustainable support are part of the core philosophy of the Hevert-Foundation in Berlin. The purposes of the charitable foundation include the promotion of science and research in the fields of naturopathy, nature and landscape conservation, public health or education, popular education and vocational training, including student support. In summary, the foundation focuses on promoting the health of humans and nature. The projects range from supporting education, health and nutrition, for example in Gando, Burkina Faso, and cooperating with the Carstens Foundation to the Dr. Wolfgang Hevert Prize for the promotion of science and research.

Further information about the Hevert-Foundation and the projects: hevert-foundation.org

You can find the video of the award ceremony here .

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