Taiwanese people with cancer and non Western medicine (NWM) use : a grounded theory study

Wang, Shou-Yu (Cindy) (2007) Taiwanese people with cancer and non Western medicine (NWM) use : a grounded theory study. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Because of the long and entrenched history of Chinese medicine in Taiwan, people have traditionally incorporated this knowledge into their health care. With the appearance and growing acceptance of Western medical practices, multiple medical approaches have become more and more popular. Yet, despite the strong foundations of Western medicine in the treatment of cancer in Taiwan, the use of Chinese medicine continues to be popular (Lin, 1992, p. 114).

The focus of this research is the contextual construction of meanings about non Western medicine (NWM). The context for the study is Taiwan, the researcher's home country. The purpose of the research is to explore the motivations for, and the processes by which, Taiwanese people with cancer incorporate NWM into their cancer treatment journey. Utilising a grounded theory approach, this research sought to explore the social processes by which Taiwanese people with cancer come to use non Western medicine. Twenty four in depth interviews were undertaken in the study.

The findings of the study demonstrate that the interactions between people with cancer and their use of NWM are complex. Taken-for-grantedness emerges as the core category in the study. The core category situates the use of non Western medicine outside the institutionalised and regulated domains of health care. More specifically, the meanings attributed to NWM are embedded in the philosophical beliefs and social relationships that constitute the lives of the participants.

These findings suggest implications for our understanding of the co-existence of NWM and Western medicine by Taiwanese people with cancer and the social processes with which they engage.

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ID Code: 16473
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Yates, Patricia, Windsor, Carol, & Lin, Chouh
Keywords: non Western medicine (NWM), complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), symbolic interactionism, grounded theory, cancer, Taiwan
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Department: Faculty of Health
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Shou-Yu (Cindy) Wang
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:04
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:41

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