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Comparing complementary health centres in the UK and Europe that use a combination of therapies

Croke, Sarah Louise (2015) Comparing complementary health centres in the UK and Europe that use a combination of therapies. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Croke_SL_Healthcare_PhD_2015.pdf - Final eThesis - complete (pdf)
Restricted until 1 June 2021.

Abstract

Research performances in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) can often lack the holistic nature of the therapies they study, and thereby fail to capture or adequately report holistic outcomes. This creates a problem when trying to assess and utilise research results, and may even contribute to conflicting evidence of CAM potential. Current CAM literature is dominated by a variety of studies that attempt different objectives, underpinned by different understandings, but often without holistic values. To enact a ‘new quality’ in CAM research this study sought to engage CAM practice, holistically, and see what can be learned from this. A novel methodology of Theatricality was developed for the task and applied, as an adjunct to Ethnography, within five clinics across four European countries (UK, Holland, Cyprus and Denmark). Findings reveal a unique view of CAM practice, wherein the target of therapy was most often people not problems, and the quality of outcomes was determined by the contextual blend of these people (characters), interventions (plot) and places (set); this was different across the different settings. The research was similarly affected, with the ability to engage more holistically where participants acted more holistically. In all cases, there was an active dichotomy between holism and reductionism, which participants both manage and mediate, in their different acts and outcomes. While the double-blind RCT remains, for many, the ‘gold standard’ in healthcare (including CAM) research, this study challenges those current paradigms and popular aims to enact a different story. Applying a holistic paradigm opens up a different ‘intellectual space’ for this, creating a new potential for both complex and complete outcomes. It also reveals important lessons about the experience of viewing and engaging with diverse social worlds (including academia), which may stimulate other researchers to seek, appreciate, value and challenge the ‘quality’ in their own research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine; holistic paradigm; Theatricality; performance; Ethnography; contextual; Europe
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Healthcare (Leeds)
Depositing User: Mrs S.L. Croke
Date Deposited: 23 May 2016 12:49
Last Modified: 07 May 2019 09:38
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13176

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