The rapid growth of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) demands that the public, the medical world, social scientists, the media, and governments pay attention. People are questioning the limits of what modern medicine can accomplish and seeking additional ways to manage their health. While many are enthusiastically adopting complementary and alternative forms of medicine, others are more sceptical. Physicians' attitudes are in transition, and governments are pondering where this increasingly important phenomenon fits into the health care system. The challenge is to keep pace with the changing ways that people view health and illness, take reposibility for themselves, and incorporate CAM into their health care.
This text brings together for the first time a wide range of leading North American and European social scientists to identify who uses CAM, why they use it, and how they find out about it. Presenting research from psychology, sociology, anthropology and public health, they alert us to the current context of CAM use and provide new models and techniques for understanding its future place in health care.