Medical Pluralism

Authors

  • Renee Bruce

Abstract

This research project examines whether or not cultural factors influence an individual’s decision to use alternative medicine. Potential participants were new Canadians with close ties to their home cultures, and access to information concerning western biomedicine and folk medicine. I questioned what influenced them to use one approach over another and why they would combine treatments. A 50-year-old Black woman, a Canadian citizen with Jamaican heritage, was interviewed for this study. Following the interview, I examined the data and found that the respondent was influenced by her Jamaican culture, where she learned to rely on folk remedies, and by her Christian faith for healing. She was also influenced by the recommendations of peers dealing with similar health issues (e.g., migraine headaches).

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