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Complementary and alternative medicine in social psychiatry

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is common and rising in the Danish population and preliminary studies suggest that the consumption of CAM is higher among persons with psychiatric disorders than in the general population. Social psychiatry aims at residents recovery, and contact with several residential homes show an integration of therapies as for example massage and ear acupuncture together with other rehabilitative treatments. The evaluation of these initiatives is only local and it has not been possible to find research-based literature that documents either the prevalence or experience of CAM use in social psychiatry.


This project will investigate the use of CAM in residential homes for persons with psychiatric disorders located in the Region of Southern Denmark and Central Denmark Region, and whether and in what way CAM can support the rehabilitative treatment and the personal recovery of the residents. The design is a mixed methods study including four major research questions examining the rationale for and the prevalence of CAM use in social psychiatry as well as staff’s and residents’ experience of CAM as integrated into the rehabilitative treatment. Theoretical literature on personal recovery constitutes the project's analytical framework. The study includes a telephone-based survey covering residential homes within social psychiatry in the region of Southern Denmark and Central Jutland; and four strategically selected residential homes will be further examined. Data collection will include questionnaires, field studies and interviews; qualitative and quantitative analysis will identify possible recovery-relevant effects of CAM.


Contact: Anita Lunde