"Elämäni on muuttunut kokonaan" : Tutkimus perusteluista luontaishoitojen käytölle ja niistä saadulle avulle
Aarva, Pauliina; Väänänen, Tiina; Kankkunen, Tiia-Tuulia (2022-12-30)
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Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
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.
- TUNICRIS-julkaisut