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Culture, healing practice pluralism and living with inflammatory bowel disease

Philipp, Lynn (2012) Culture, healing practice pluralism and living with inflammatory bowel disease. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Few studies exist on sufferers‟ perspectives of living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and on cultural influences of choices of alternative health practices, including Traditional, Complementary and/or Alternative Medicine (TCAM). This research explores how and why cultural influences affect how IBD sufferers look after themselves with particular healing practices, including TCAM. The research was underpinned by a conceptual framework of the cultural construction of illness and healing, developed by drawing on existing literature from medical anthropology and sociology. The empirical phase of the study utilised a qualitative approach, involving eight participants. Two interviews were conducted with each participant; each was asked to complete a written diary for at least a month. Data was analysed using an inductive method guided by the conceptual framework and its four components: cultural influences; perspectives of Self; perspectives of illness and healing; and, healing practice pluralism. Half of the participants (5 female, 3 male, aged between 23 and 72 years) were medically diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and the others with Crohn‟s Disease (CD). Insight is provided into the diverse approaches of how sufferers live with IBD and two key treatment decision points. The cross-case analysis identified eight key factors directly or indirectly guiding participants towards choosing non-medical healing practices, and enumerated a range of preventive and curative healing practices that participants used in relation to different parts of the Self. Throughout their living with IBD, there is an on-going re-evaluation of the Self (personal preferences) in relation to self-management of illness. The research demonstrates the diverse ways of living with IBD, use of multiple preventive and curative healing practices and reinforces the value and strength of the conceptual framework. This study may prove useful in providing an explanatory model for other long-standing illness research as well as the combining of various healing practices in the context of healing practice pluralism.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Healthcare (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2012 13:36
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:51
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3146

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