Understanding the emerging relationship between complementary medicine and mainstream health care: A review of the literature

Marlene Wiese, Candice Oster, Jan Pincombe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    52 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The history of the relationship between complementary medicine (CM) and mainstream health care has shifted from the early days of pluralism, through hostility and exclusion, to one of grudging acceptance. The current situation is one of a tacit acknowledgement and in some cases open endorsement by biomedicine for a number of forms of CM practice, largely driven by the popularity of CM to consumers in our increasingly market driven health care system. How this relationship is ultimately worked out will impact both on the practice of CM and biomedicine, and on the health care choices available to consumers. In this article we review the research and commentary literature on the current and emerging relationship between biomedicine and CM. In particular we explore the ways in which mainstream inclusion of CM is discussed in the literature, and the biomedical and CM perspectives of mainstream CM inclusion. Finally we discuss the implications of the emerging relationship for CM, and CM practitioners and consumers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)326-342
    Number of pages17
    JournalHealth: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine
    Volume14
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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