DSpace Repository

" Don't mask it, fix it" : Distinguishing Characteristics of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Patients with Chronic Pain and their Pathways toward Pain Resolution

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Feldman, Kenneth A. en_US
dc.contributor.advisor Marrone, Catherine en_US
dc.contributor.author Curreli, Misty Amadona en_US
dc.contributor.other Department of Sociology. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-20T16:51:14Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-20T16:51:14Z
dc.date.issued 2013-12-01 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11401/76822 en_US
dc.description 216 pg. en_US
dc.description.abstract The sociological literature on pain and the body largely emphasizes the social and cultural dynamics of suffering. Within this realm, the medical institution is often paramount in regulating how pain is understood and the responses that are appropriate in managing pain. Less is known about other forms of healthcare that treat pain, namely Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). While most research explains the overall " who" of the population of CAM users, few studies address the " why" and the overall effects of using a nonconventional system of medicine. This research is aimed at discerning health beliefs and behaviors that are associated with engaging with a non-conventional system of healthcare and how treatment-seeking differs between patients choosing (CAM) and those choosing conventional medicine. Additionally, this study traces the trajectory of patients' treatment-seeking behavior and explores whether non-conventional treatment changes outlooks on medicine and other health-related beliefs and behaviors. A mixed method design was used to explore whether CAM users (compared with conventional medicine users) are more likely to possess beliefs associated with CAM. A survey-questionnaire was first distributed to pain patients (n=98) in two health office locations: pain management and acupuncture. Since little is known about CAM users' decision-making processes, qualitative interviews (n=20) were conducted with people using acupuncture to elaborate on the survey results. Statistically significant differences were found among pain management and acupuncture users on measures of proactivity, medication use, and patient-centered care. Additionally, qualitative findings showed that most acupuncture users were initially skeptical of this non-conventional treatment and gradually grew to use it for ailments beyond pain. At the same time, they grew to value the time and intimacy that was shared with their acupuncturist, who often engaged them in holistic approaches to health. The findings suggest strong discontent and resistance to conventional forms of treatment, which were found to be non-validating of pain experiences of patients and their desires to find non-pharmaceutical solutions for pain. This research proposes that CAM patients are demonstrating their ability to make choices on their own behalf without the approval of traditional medical experts and suggests implications for this new autonomy. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work is sponsored by the Stony Brook University Graduate School in compliance with the requirements for completion of degree. en_US
dc.format Monograph en_US
dc.format.medium Electronic Resource en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Sociology en_US
dc.subject.other Acupuncture, Chronic pain, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Patient centered care, Sociology of Health and Illness, Treatment seeking en_US
dc.title " Don't mask it, fix it" : Distinguishing Characteristics of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Patients with Chronic Pain and their Pathways toward Pain Resolution en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.mimetype Application/PDF en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Feldman, Kenneth en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Marrone, Catherine en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Burroway, Rebekah en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Heller, Jacob. en_US

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search DSpace

Advanced Search


My Account