"Elämäni on muuttunut kokonaan": Tutkimus perusteluista luontaishoitojen käytölle ja niistä saadulle avulle

Translated title of the contribution: “My life’s been transformed”. A study of the motivations for CAM use and the accounts of the perceived benefits of CAM

Pauliina Aarva, Tiina Väänänen, Tiia-Tuulia Kankkunen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Public opinion is deeply divided over natural therapies, also known as complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) or as traditional therapies. In the past decade there have been calls in Finland both for restrictive legislation and for steps to facilitate access to CAM. Public debate has tended mostly to highlight the absence of scientific evidence and the potential risks of alternative therapies.

This study used the methods of content analysis to investigate what people’s motivations for and accounts of the perceived benefits of CAM use tell us about CAM-culture, that is a part of a broader health culture in Finland. The data consisted of 5,366 written responses to a questionnaire item concerning the relief people found in natural therapies and remedies. The question was included as part of a CAM survey open between from 8.10.2022 to 15.12.2021 on the Ministry of Justice website Otakantaa.fi.

The results confirm earlier findings about the perceived benefits of natural therapies and the support they can offer in the face of lifestyle changes. Respondents’ motivations for the use of natural therapies and their accounts of their perceived benefits are captured in three discourses: justifications based on perceived, pragmatic everyday benefits, dissatisfaction in services provided by public healthcare and the holistic approach of CAM.

The motivations cited by users of natural therapies speak for the multimodality of our health culture. Our data show that users take a more positive view of natural therapies than the dominant lines of public commentary, which often refer to their potential hazards and adverse effects. Although CAM remain surrounded by controversy and fall in the margins of the official healthcare system, within the CAM-culture therapies hold a firm and highly valued place alongside conventional health services. Our results shed light on users’ views on the social controversies around CAM and add to our understanding of the depth and diversity of health culture.
Translated title of the contribution“My life’s been transformed”. A study of the motivations for CAM use and the accounts of the perceived benefits of CAM
Original languageFinnish
Pages (from-to)103-128
Number of pages26
JournalElore. Folkloristiikan ja perinteentutkimuksen aikakausjulkaisu - A Scholarly Online Journal in Folklore Studies
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '“My life’s been transformed”. A study of the motivations for CAM use and the accounts of the perceived benefits of CAM: Tutkimus perusteluista luontaishoitojen käytölle ja niistä saadulle avulle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this