Objective: This article uses a qualitative design and examines how patients and their caregivers integrate pluralistic health practices into rehabilitation from their perspectives. Design: Ethnography was used as the framework for research design. Data were collected via participant observation, taped in-depth interviews and regular chart review, and all interviews were transcribed verbatim. Setting: An inpatient rehabilitation unit in Taiwan. Subjects: Twenty-one patients, their caregivers and their rehabilitation professionals. Results: The patients and their caregivers used pluralistic illness explanations and treatments to make sense of their suffering, to control healing and to find the hope that rehabilitation professionals often deliberately avoided giving. Spiritual healing and therapies related to Traditional Chinese Medicine, such as functional food and herbal medicines, were popular alternative therapeutics. Although the patients and their caregivers perceived opposition from the medical staff on the unit, they used a variety of covert strategies to integrate their pluralistic illness explanations and treatments into their daily routines without openly challenging the rehabilitation primacy. Conclusion: Aware of the rehabilitation staff's opposition, the patients and caregivers resorted to a variety of underground strategies to conceal their use of complementary medical treatments.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation