A qualitative exploration of complementary and alternative health beliefs and practices in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

Simmonds, Tara (2016) A qualitative exploration of complementary and alternative health beliefs and practices in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In the 1990s, some ground-breaking, large-scale studies concerning the use of complementary and alternative health were conducted in the United States (Eisenberg, Kessler, Foster, Norlock, Calkins, and Delbanco 1993, Eisenberg, Davis, Ettner, Appel, Wilkey, Van Rompay, and Kessler 1998) and, subsequently, in Canada (Ramsay, Walker, and Alexander 1999). Both the Canadian and the American studies presented startling evidence that the use of health alternatives had been greatly underestimated in medical and social scientific literature, and that this use was growing rapidly. In the decades that have followed, there has been a pronounced and increasing interest in the study of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), from a wide range of disciplines and approaches. This thesis tackles the issue of CAM use from a uniquely crafted lens – it examines the world of complementary and alternative health beliefs and practices from a folklore perspective. Situating the research in the Atlantic Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the thesis is based around interview-based ethnographic fieldwork from the perspective of CAM users, CAM practitioners, and allopathic physicians. It therefore reflects some of the most relevant current CAM-related issues: themes related to region, knowledge and belief, role, and the notion of ideal health care scenarios. It is a thesis about health, but it is also one about agency, power, epistemology and personal experience, and the ways that all of these important factors can help, or hinder an ongoing quest for wellness.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/12470
Item ID: 12470
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 319-349).
Keywords: Health, Belief, Narrative, Vernacular, Medicine
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: May 2016
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: New Brunswick; Nova Scotia
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Alternative medicine--New Brunswick; Alternative medicine--Nova Scotia; Traditional medicine--New Brunswick; Traditional medicine--Nova Scotia

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