Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
From disappointment to holistic ideals: a qualitative study on motives and experiences of using complementary and alternative medicine in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8632-6877
2015 (English)In: Journal of Public Health Research, ISSN 2279-9028, E-ISSN 2279-9036, Vol. 4, no 2, 125-132 p., 538Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Recent studies indicate increased use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in western societies, to ameliorate health problems. Even if there is substantial research on general patterns of use, there is limited knowledge on individual motives. This study contributes to a qualitative understanding of experiences of choosing and using CAM. Design and methods: This study consists of in-depth interviews with 10 CAM users in Sweden. The participants represent different backgrounds and experiences of using CAM. The interviews have been analysed in accordance with content analysis. Results: In analysing experiences of choosing and using CAM four main themes were identified: frustration and critique, values and ideology, individual responsibility, and combining treatments. In general, the participants were highly reflexive on issues concerning their health. They highlighted their own role and responsibility, combined a variety of treatments, and continuously dealt with questions on risks, even if they had relatively different approaches to if and when to use CAM. The results also show that motives may change over time. Even if initial choices were closely related to frustration and critique of conventional treatments (for example, by perceiving conventional health care as limited, not receiving proper diagnoses, or being critical to conventional drugs) was long-term use motivated by ideological characteristics of CAM (such as holistic and individualized treatments, and extensive interaction with practitioners). Conclusions: Four main themes, concerning experiences of choosing and using CAM were identified. This study also supports the idea that initial motives for choosing CAM may differ from those explaining long-term use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Page Press , 2015. Vol. 4, no 2, 125-132 p., 538
Keyword [en]
Complementary medicine, alternative medicine, medical choice, medical consumption
National Category
Sociology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109832DOI: 10.4081/jphr.2015.538OAI: diva2:859278
Available from: 2015-10-06 Created: 2015-10-06 Last updated: 2015-12-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(614 kB)50 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 614 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Danell, Jenny-Ann
By organisation
Department of Sociology
In the same journal
Journal of Public Health Research
SociologyPublic Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 50 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 112 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link