Document Detail


Translating "mind-in-body": two models of patient experience underlying a randomized controlled trial of qigong.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12572768     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
This study explores two conflicting models of how patients experience mind-body therapies; these models frame the design of a clinical trial examining the effects of qigong (a traditional Chinese movement therapy) on the immune systems of former cancer patients. Data consist of ethnographic research and in-depth interviews conducted at the Boston teaching hospital where the trial is to take place. These interviews, with biomedical researchers who designed the trial and with the qigong master responsible for the qigong arm of the trial, reveal two fundamentally different understandings of how qigong is experienced and how that experience may be beneficial. The biomedical team sees qigong as a non-specific therapy which combines relaxation and exercise. The qigong master, on the other hand, sees qigong as using specific movements and visualizations to direct mental attention to specific areas of the body. Thus while the biomedical team frames qigong as a "mind-body" practice, the qigong master frames it as a "mind-in-body" practice. This research suggests that the biomedical notion that mind-body therapies work by eliciting mental relaxation is only one way of thinking about how patients experience modalities like qigong: indeed, characterizations of mind-body therapies which emphasize a mental sense of relaxation may be specific to biomedicine and the cultures which surround it. More broadly, the paper argues that gaps in understanding between researchers and practitioners may be hindering scientific efforts to assess therapies like qigong. It concludes by proposing that clinical trials of traditional and alternative therapies build ethnographic inquiry about practitioner experience into the design process.
Authors:
Catherine Kerr
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Culture, medicine and psychiatry     Volume:  26     ISSN:  0165-005X     ISO Abbreviation:  Cult Med Psychiatry     Publication Date:  2002 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-02-07     Completed Date:  2003-04-16     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7707467     Medline TA:  Cult Med Psychiatry     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  419-47     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Biological Markers
Boston
Exercise / physiology
Hospitals, Teaching
Humans
Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
Mind-Body Therapies / psychology*
Models, Psychological
Neoplasms / immunology*
Qi
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Relaxation / physiology
Survivors / psychology
Tai Ji / psychology
Chemical
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Biological Markers

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine


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