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Title: Health practitioners' understanding and use of Relaxation Techniques (RTs), Mindfulness Meditation (MM) and Relaxation Music (RM) in the UK and South Korea : a qualitative case study approach
Author: Hwang, Mi Hyang
ISNI:       0000 0004 6056 5230
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2017
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Background: The information exchange between healthcare practitioners in South Korea and the UK has so far been limited and cross-cultural comparisons of Relaxation techniques (RTs) and Mindfulness meditation (MM) and Relaxation music (RM) within the healthcare context of Korea and the UK have previously been unexplored. This has been the inspiration for this qualitative case study focussing on understanding and use of RTs/MM and RM within the respective healthcare contexts. Methods: Data were collected through qualitative semi-structured interviews with six Korean and six UK healthcare practitioners in three professional areas: medical practice, meditation, and music therapy. The interviews were transcribed and a thematic analysis was undertaken. The topics explored include: a) the value and use of RTs/MM and RM; b) approaches and methods; c) practitioners’ concerns; d) responses of interventions; e) cultural similarities and differences; and f) the integration of RTs/MM and RM within healthcare. Underlying cultural factors have been considered, including education systems and approaches, practitioner-client relationships and religious influences alongside the background of cultural change and changing perspectives within healthcare in the UK and Korea. Findings: A great variety of approaches to RTs/MM and RM were discussed among the sample group. Across a wide client spectrum common therapeutic purposes included stress reduction, emotional support and regulation, rehabilitation, personal transformation and spiritual development. The participants were both discerning and creative in terms of mind-body interventions they use. Practitioners’ training, personal experience and insights gained through practice inform their professional work and they were keen to share knowledge among colleagues. Nevertheless, practitioners’ level of competency and abilities with respect to the use of RTs/MM and RM were a common concern; training opportunities exist to varying degrees in both countries, however, and growth in the use of mind-body interventions is a significant trend. Nation-specific and cultural factors can affect the use of interventions, settings and client group. Similarities (focus on individual and subjective factors, client acceptance and practical concerns) and differences (related to historical background, educational culture, prevailing religious outlooks and the respective health services) were found between Korea and the UK. Conclusion: The value of cross-cultural and multidisciplinary research and integrated health is increasingly recognised and the use of RTs/MM and RM as mind-body interventions considered to be useful integrated treatment within healthcare context. This study shows the difference in range of RTs/MM and RM resources and the approaches in integrating practice and these may lead to cross-fertilisation within therapeutic practice. The value of knowledge sharing and integrated medicine is increasingly recognised across the globe and this study opens up a number of themes that might be taken up again and built on by future researchers. More generally, the study contributes to cross-cultural qualitative research between Korea and UK and integrating theory and practice with respect to RTs/MM and RM.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: relaxation techniques (RTs) ; mindfulness meditation (MM) ; relaxation music (RM) ; meditation ; music therapy ; healthcare ; healthcare practitioners ; South Korea ; UK