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Title: Making sense of the unexpected : an integral perspective on patients' responses to unexpected outcomes of chiropractic treatment
Author: Erickson, Kenneth John
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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This study focuses on a range of unexpected outcomes experienced by a sample population of patients following chiropractic treatment. In particular, it considers how those who experience such outcomes make sense of, and attach meaning to, them. To provide a suitable context for this research, attention is also given to chiropractic as a profession. The origins and evolution of chiropractic are therefore described and its internal struggle for professional legitimacy within the mainstream medical model is discussed. In addition, as a preliminary stage of research, views emanating from a focus group of practicing chiropractors from the United States and Canada, regarding unexpected outcomes of treatment, are reported. However, thus enquiry is chiefly concerned with the accounts provided by patients who reported having personally experienced outcomes they believed to be the unexpected results of chiropractic treatment. Through paying close attention to the personal stories presented by a sample population of such patients throughout a series of interviews, this thesis explores how they attempted to make sense of, and assign meaning to, the unexpected outcomes they described. Data gathered during these interviews is analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis as a means of discovering emergent themes. These are then considered within the context of contemporary models of health in order to develop understanding of how people struggle to find meaning in health care interventions through creating narratives in order to orient their experiences of these within the greater context of their life experience. In particular, therefore, this work considers the value of unexpected occurrences following chiropractic treatment in relation to those who directly experience them. However, alongside this, it explores the potential for such unexpected outcomes to facilitate better understanding of how people make sense of, and assign meaning to, health care experiences in general. It concludes that unexpected experiences such as those discussed here not only have the potential to offer insights into the chiropractic field, but may also have implications within the field of healthcare in general. This thesis indicates that careful listening is required by healthcare professionals in order for the full potential benefit of the practitioner/patient relationship to emerge. In essence, honouring the totality of human experience through listening to patients' stories allows the healthcare encounter to function as an agent of change beyond the isolated effects of a particular intervention
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available