Modes of Embodiment in Breast Cancer Patients Using Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Anita Salamonsen, Tove Elisabeth Kruse, Sissel H. Eriksen

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    Breast cancer patients are frequent users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). They often have complex reasons for, and experiences from, their use of CAM. Bodily experiences are important and almost unexplored elements in CAM use. Our aim was to explore the meaning and importance of bodily experiences among breast cancer patients who were using CAM as a supplement or an alternative to conventional treatment (CT). Our findings based on qualitative interviews with 13 women suggest that bodily experiences were particularly important when positioned outside conventional health care prior to medical diagnosis and as users of CAM as alternative to CT. We introduce three central modes of embodiment related to CAM use: the right to one’s body, the body used as a gauge, and the body used as a guide. Patients’ positioning between treatment systems should be further explored from a bodily perspective to safeguard and optimize their treatment choices.
    TidsskriftQualitative Health Research
    Udgave nummer11
    Sider (fra-til)1497-1512
    StatusUdgivet - 2012

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