Making sense of illness: the experiences of users of complementary medicine

Cartwright, Tina and Torr, Rebecca (2005) Making sense of illness: the experiences of users of complementary medicine. Journal of Health Psychology, 10 (4). pp. 559-572. ISSN 1359-1053


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The present study investigated the experiences of users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) using a qualitative approach. In-depth interviews were conducted with 11 frequent users and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results indicated that the patient-practitioner relationship and explanatory frameworks provided by CAM were perceived as important components of the therapeutic process, irrespective of treatment efficacy. CAM served a variety of functions beyond the explicit relief of symptoms by increasing energy and relaxation, facilitating coping and enhancing self/other awareness. It is therefore important that these wider effects are taken into account when evaluating complementary medicine in order to accurately reflect patients' experiences.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Online ISSN 1461-7277
Uncontrolled Keywords: Complementary medicine, coping, outcomes, qualitative
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2010 14:30

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