Why do chronic illness patients decide to use complementary and alternative medicine? A qualitative study

Journal article


Chatterjee, A. 2021. Why do chronic illness patients decide to use complementary and alternative medicine? A qualitative study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 43, p. 101363. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2021.101363
AuthorsChatterjee, A.
Abstract

Background and purpose
A substantial proportion of European and American people now use healthcare options known as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). This study aimed to understand the processes and decisional pathways through which chronic illness patients choose treatments outside of regular allopathic medicine.

Materials and methods
This qualitative study used Charmaz's constructivist grounded theory methods to collect and analyze data. Using theoretical sampling, 21 individuals suffering from chronic illness and who had used CAM treatment participated in face-to-face in-depth interviews conducted in Miami/USA.

Results
Seven overarching themes emerged from the data to describe how and why people with chronic illness choose CAM treatments. These themes included 1) influences, 2) desperation, 3) being averse to allopathic medicine and allopathic medical practice, 4) curiosity and chance, 5) ease of access, 6) institutional help, and 7) trial and error.

Conclusion
In selecting treatment options that include CAM, individuals draw on their social, economic, and biographical situations. Though exploratory, this study sheds light on some of the less examined reasons for CAM use.

KeywordsChoice; Chronic illness;Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM);Treatment decisions
Year2021
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Journal citation43, p. 101363
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1744-3881
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2021.101363
Official URLhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388121000621
Publication dates
Online11 Mar 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Mar 2021
Deposited13 Sep 2021
Accepted author manuscript
License
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8yq45/why-do-chronic-illness-patients-decide-to-use-complementary-and-alternative-medicine-a-qualitative-study

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Accepted author manuscript
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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