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

Cartwright, T. and Torr, R. 2005. Making sense of illness: the experiences of users of complementary medicine. Journal of Health Psychology. 10 (4), pp. 559-572. doi:10.1177/1359105305053425

TitleMaking sense of illness: the experiences of users of complementary medicine
AuthorsCartwright, T. and Torr, R.
Abstract

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.

KeywordsComplementary medicine, coping, outcomes, qualitative
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Journal citation10 (4), pp. 559-572
ISSN1359-1053
1461-7277
YearJul 2005
PublisherSage
FileCartwright_Torr_2005_final.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/1359105305053425
Web address (URL)http://hpq.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/10/4/559
Publication dates
PublishedJul 2005

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