A qualitative study of naturopathy in rural practice: A focus upon naturopaths' experiences and perceptions of rural patients and demands for their services

Wardle, Jon L., Adams, Jon and Lui, Chi-Wai (2010) A qualitative study of naturopathy in rural practice: A focus upon naturopaths' experiences and perceptions of rural patients and demands for their services. BMC Health Services Research, 10 Article number 185: 185-1-185-8. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-185


Author Wardle, Jon L.
Adams, Jon
Lui, Chi-Wai
Title A qualitative study of naturopathy in rural practice: A focus upon naturopaths' experiences and perceptions of rural patients and demands for their services
Journal name BMC Health Services Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-6963
Publication date 2010-06
Year available 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1472-6963-10-185
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue Article number 185
Start page 185-1
End page 185-8
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, England
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use - of which naturopathy constitutes a significant proportion - accounts for approximately half of all health consultations and half of out-of-pocket expenditure in Australia. Data also suggest CAM use is highest amongst rural Australians. Unfortunately little is known about the grass-roots reality of naturopathy or other CAM use in rural regions.

Methods.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 naturopaths practising in the Darling Downs region of South-East Queensland to assess their perceptions and experiences of rural patients and demand for their services.

Results.
Naturopaths described strong demand in rural areas for their services and perceived much of this demand as attributable to cultural traits in rural communities that served as pull factors for their naturopathic services. Such perceived traits included a cultural affinity for holistic approaches to health and disease and the preventive philosophy of naturopathy and an appreciation of the core tenet of naturopathic practice to develop closer therapeutic relationships. However, cost and a rural culture of self-reliance were seen as major barriers to naturopathic practice in rural areas.

Conclusions.

Demand for naturopathic services in rural areas may have strong underlying cultural and social drivers. Given the apparent affinity for and increasingly large role played by CAM services, including naturopathic medicine, in rural areas it is imperative that naturopathic medicine and the CAM sector more broadly become a core focus of rural health research. © 2010 Wardle et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Keyword Alternative health practitioners
Professional shortage areas
United-states
Older-adults
Complementary therapy
Medicine cam
Care
Australia
Women
Retention
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes online journal - Received: 2 March 2010 Accepted: 28 June 2010 Published: 28 June 2010

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 15 Aug 2010, 00:06:51 EST