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A comparative study on the development of complementary and alternative medicine as a research field

Tampere University
Area of focusHealth, Society

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a controversial and triggers heated debate in the media and among health care practitioners. The issue has become more contentious as CAM aims to enter universities. CAM is establishing itself as a research field through conferences and networking, but also through publications and establishment of CAM institutions. Data includes interviews with CAM researchers and key stakeholders, documents and CAM research publications from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. I compare the situation and institutionalisation of and societal discussion on CAM research in six countries. I shed light on the benefits and harms of this development so that decisionmakers at universities and in the research and health policy arena in different countries and the European Research Area could evaluate whether it is advantageous that CAM research advances and gains resources or whether this development is detrimental and should be prevented.


Brodin Danell, Jenny-Ann & Danell, Rickard & Vuolanto, Pia (2020) Fifty Years of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM): a Bibliometric Analysis of Publication Activity and General Content of the Publications. Journal of Scientometric Research 9:3, 268-276.

Brodin Danell, Jenny-Ann & Danell, Rickard & Vuolanto, Pia (2019) Scandinavian research on complementary and alternative medicine: A bibliometric study. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health 48:6, 609-616.

Brosnan, Caragh & Vuolanto, Pia & Brodin Danell, Jenny-Ann (2018) Introduction: Reconceptualising Complementary and Alternative Medicine as Knowledge Production and Social Transformation. In Caragh Brosnan, Pia Vuolanto & Jenny-Ann Brodin Danell (eds.) Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Knowledge Production and Social Transformation, Palgrave Macmillan, 1-29.


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