The interface between tradition and science: Naturopaths' perspectives of modern practice

Steel, Amie and Adams, Jon (2011) The interface between tradition and science: Naturopaths' perspectives of modern practice. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 17 10: 967-972. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0497

Author Steel, Amie
Adams, Jon
Title The interface between tradition and science: Naturopaths' perspectives of modern practice
Journal name Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1075-5535
Publication date 2011-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1089/acm.2010.0497
Volume 17
Issue 10
Start page 967
End page 972
Total pages 6
Place of publication New Rochelle, NY, United States
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objectives: Although there has been much international commentary, little is known about the interface between traditional knowledge and scientific research in modern naturopathic practice. This study aimed to explore this interface from the perspective of naturopaths. Design: Semistructured interviews were conducted with naturopaths in current practice. The participants were selected using purposive sampling, and the data from the interviews were interpreted using thematic analysis. Settings/location: Interviews were conducted in a place suitable to each participant. Subjects: Twelve (12) naturopaths in current clinical practice were interviewed. The participants represented a diversity of characteristics including gender, time in practice, level of qualification, and clinical contact hours per week. Outcome measures: Thematic analysis was used to identify common themes from the interviews. Results: Analysis identified a disparity in practitioner definition of what constitutes traditional information. However, it also identified that traditional knowledge is considered a valid source of information, whereas the validity and value of modern research is questioned. There is also tension between these two information sources, with science being argued to both support traditional knowledge, while also undermining its value. This tension seems to be overcome by practitioners' use of traditional knowledge to direct their own research, as well as drawing upon their knowledge of science to explain traditional knowledge as yet not researched. Conclusions: The findings of this qualitative study reveal tensions and ambiguities around the interface between tradition and science with regard to naturopathic clinical practice. Understanding these findings may assist individuals and groups within the naturopathic profession, as well as those outside the profession engaging and collaborating with naturopaths
Keyword Evidence-Based Medicine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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