Yoik is an old vocal music tradition of Sami, the indigenous people inhabiting Northern Fennoscandia and Kola peninsula in Russia. Studies of music therapy (MT) and especially singing have documented improvements in social and overall functioning in people with severe mental disorders and positive effect on depressive symptoms and sleep quality. Possible connections between yoik and health are so far underexplored.
The overall aim of this study was to explore whether yoik may have the potential to positively influence people's health and well-being. The research questions were: 1. What are different persons' experiences with yoik? 2. Can yoik experiences be related to health outcomes?
Explorative, qualitative interviews with 13 participants were conducted in the Norwegian counties Finnmark, Troms, Nordland, and Trøndelag.
The findings suggest qualities in yoik that are comparable to positive effects of Music Therapy (MT) in general. Yoik may contribute to emotion management, i.e. processing negative emotions and inducing positive ones in people acknowledging yoik as something positive.
Yoik may be considered an important marker of social and cultural belonging for many Sami people. Yoik seems to have an underresearched potential as an intervention in culture sensitive healthcare and health promotion work that deserves to be further investigated.
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Person-centred care (PCC) is a well-acknowledged goal throughout the western world both within the health care services sector and for the patients themselves. To be able to create a future health care system that includes improved PCC, we need more in-depth knowledge of what matters to patients, how "what matters" might change over time, and tentative descriptions of commonalities across patients' perspectives. The aim of this study is to contribute to this knowledge base.
We conducted a qualitative interview series over one year with nine Norwegian patients who were recently diagnosed with rectal cancer tumor-node-metastasis stage I-III.
We found that: (1) patients have an initial focus on "biological goals" and conventional treatment; (2) pathways are unique and dynamic; (3) family and friends affected patient pathways positively with respect to meaningfulness and quality of life, but for some participants also negatively because there were heavy burdens of caretaking; (4) receiving help in the health care system depended on the patients' navigation skills; (5) pluralism in health-seeking behaviour was important in all patient pathways.
Long lasting illness may be a dynamic and complex journey. These results represent some features of a pathway with cancer and are important because they contribute with knowledge about what matters most seen from the cancer patients' point of view.
a The National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM), Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences , UiT, the Arctic University of Norway , Tromsø , Norway.
People with Sami and Norwegian background are frequent users of traditional folk medicine (TM). Traditional healing, such as religious prayers of healing (reading) and the laying on of hands, are examples of commonly used modalities. The global aim of this study is to examine whether health personnel's knowledge, attitudes and experiences of traditional healing affect their clinical practice. Semi-structured individual interviews (n=32) and focus group interviews (n=2) were conducted among health personnel in two communities in Northern Norway. The text data was transcribed verbatim and analysed based on the criteria for content analysis. Six themes were identified. The participants had acquired their knowledge of traditional healing through their childhood, adolescence and experience as health personnel in the communities. They all expressed that they were positive to the patients' use of traditional healing. They justified their attitudes, stating that "there are more things in heaven and earth" and they had faith in the placebo effects of traditional healing. The health personnel respected their patients' faith and many facilitated the use of traditional healing. In some cases, they also applied traditional healing tools if the patients asked them to do so. The health personnel were positive and open-minded towards traditional healing. They considered reading as a tool that could help the patients to handle illness in a good way. Health personnel were willing to perform traditional healing and include traditional tools in their professional toolkit, even though these tools were not documented as evidence-based treatment. In this way they could offer their patients integrated health services which were tailored to the patients' treatment philosophy.
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Homeopathy is widely used, and many European physicians practice homeopathy in addition to conventional medicine. Adverse effects in homeopathy are not expected by homeopaths due to the negligible quantities of active substances in a remedy. However, we questioned if homeopathic aggravation, which is described as a temporary worsening of existing symptoms following a correct homeopathic remedy, should be regarded as adverse effects or ruled out as desirable events of the treatment. In order to improve knowledge in an unexplored area of patient safety, we explored how medical homeopath discriminate between homeopathic aggravations and adverse effects, and how they assessed patient safety in medical practice.
A qualitative approach was employed using focus group interviews. Two interviews with seven medical homeopaths were performed in Oslo, Norway. The participants practiced homeopathy besides conventional medicine. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the text data. The codes were defined before and during the data analysis.
According to the medical homeopaths, a feeling of well-being may be a criterion to distinguish homeopathic aggravations from adverse effects. There was disagreement among the participants whether or not homeopathic treatment produced adverse effects. However, they agreed when an incorrect remedy was administrated, it may create a disruption or suppressive reaction in the patient. This was not perceived as adverse effects but a possibility to prescribe a new remedy as new symptoms emerge. This study revealed several advantages for the patients as the medical homeopaths looked for dangerous symptoms which may enhance safety. The patient was given time and space, which enabled the practitioner to see the complete picture. A more comprehensive toolkit gave the medical homeopaths a feeling of professionalism.
This explorative study investigated how Medical Homeopaths understood and assessed risk in their clinical practice. A feeling of well-being emerging soon after taking the remedy was the most important criterion for discriminating between Homeopathic Aggravations and Adverse Effects in clinical practice. The Medical Homeopaths used the view of both professions and always looked for red flag situations in the consultation room. They combined knowledge from two treatment systems which may have advantages for the patient. These tentative results deserve further research efforts to improve patient safety among users of homeopathy. For further research we find it important to improve and develop concepts that are unique to homeopathy in order to validate and modernize this medical practice.
To explore the experiences of health care practitioners working with Aboriginal clients recovering from acquired brain injury (ABI).
Participatory research design using qualitative methods.
Fourteen in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted. The Framework Method of analysis was used to uncover emerging themes.
Five main categories emerged: practitioners' experience with brain injury, practitioners' experience with Aboriginal clients, specialized needs of Aboriginal clients recovering from brain injury, culturally sensitive care and traditional healing methods. These categories were then further divided into emergent themes and sub-themes where applicable, with particular emphasis on the specialized needs of Aboriginal clients.
Each emergent theme highlighted key challenges experienced by Aboriginal peoples recovering from ABI. A key challenge was that protocols for rehabilitation and discharge planning are often lacking for clients living on reserves or in remote communities. Other challenges included lack of social support; difficulty of travel and socio-cultural factors associated with post-acute care; and concurrent disorders.
Results suggest that developing reasonable protocols for discharge planning of Aboriginal clients living on reserves and/or remote communities should be considered a priority.
The National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM), Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cancer patients' use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widespread, despite the fact that clinical studies validating the efficacy of CAM remain sparse in the Nordic countries. The purpose of this study was to explore possible connections between cancer patients' communication experiences with doctors and the decision to use CAM as either supplement or alternative to conventional treatment (CT). The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics and the Norwegian Data Inspectorate approved the study. From a group of 52 cancer patients with self-reported positive experiences from use of CAM, 13 were selected for qualitative interviews. Six used CAM as supplement, and seven as alternative to CT, periodically or permanently. Communication experiences with 46 doctors were described. The analysis revealed three connections between doctor-patient communication and patients' treatment decisions: (i) negative communication experiences because of the use of CAM; (ii) negative communication experiences resulted in the decision to use CAM, and in some cases to decline CT; and (iii) positive communication experiences led to the decision to use CAM as supplement, not alternative to CT. The patients, including the decliners of CT, wanted to discuss treatment decisions in well-functioning interpersonal processes with supportive doctors. In doctors' practices and education of doctors, a greater awareness of potential positive and negative outcomes of doctor-patient communication that concern CAM issues could be of importance. More research is needed to safeguard CAM users' treatment decisions and their relationship to conventional health care.
Breast cancer patients are frequent users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). They often have complex reasons for, and experiences from, their use of CAM. Bodily experiences are important and almost unexplored elements in CAM use. Our aim was to explore the meaning and importance of bodily experiences among breast cancer patients who were using CAM as a supplement or an alternative to conventional treatment (CT). Our findings based on qualitative interviews with 13 women suggest that bodily experiences were particularly important when positioned outside conventional health care prior to medical diagnosis and as users of CAM as alternative to CT. We introduce three central modes of embodiment related to CAM use: the right to one's body, the body used as a gauge, and the body used as a guide. Patients' positioning between treatment systems should be further explored from a bodily perspective to safeguard and optimize their treatment choices.
a The National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM), Department of Municipality Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences , UiT, the Arctic University of Norway , Tromsø , Norway.
In Northern Norway, traditional healing has been preserved by passing down the knowledge through generations. Religious prayers of healing (reading) and Sami rituals (curing) are examples of methods that are used. We have examined traditional healers' understanding of traditional healing, the healing process and their own practice, as well as what characteristics healers should have. Semi-structured individual interviews and focus group interviews were conducted among 15 traditional healers in two coastal Sami municipalities in Norway. The traditional healers understood traditional healing as the initiation of the patient's self-healing power. This power was initiated through healing rituals and explained as the power of God and placebo effect. During the healing ritual, the doctor's medical diagnoses, the patient's personal data and a prayer in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit were used in combination with steel and elements from the nature. The traditional healers stated that they had to be trustworthy, calm and mentally strong. Healers who claimed that they had supernatural abilities (clairvoyant or warm hands) were regarded as extra powerful. According to the participants in this study, the healers must be trustworthy, calm and mentally strong. Moreover, these traditional healers drew on information from conventional medicine when performing their rituals.