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Integrative, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Challenges for Biomedicine?

By Hans Baer, Ian Coulter



Hans A Baer
School of Social and Environmental Enquiry and
Centre for Health and Society, University of Melbourne

Ian Coulter
School of Dentistry, University of California at Los Angeles
School of Dentistry, UCLA; RAND; Samueli Institute


In response to the emergence of the holistic health movement in the early 1970s and the rising popularity of complementary and alternative therapies, a growing number of biomedical physicians and institutions have embraced complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), often under the guise of integrative medicine.


Whereas alternative medicine is often defined as functioning outside biomedicine and complementary medicine beside it, integrative medicine purports to combine the best of both biomedicine and CAM. Some social scientists have argued biomedicine has become more holistic as a result of this development, whereas others suggest it has embarked upon a subtle process of absorbing or co-opting CAM.


This special issue includes papers addressing changes in the health care sector associated with the adoption of integrative medicine or CAM. Authors were also asked to debate on some of the causes and consequences of this development. It contains highly instructive and thought provoking perspectives on a wide range of issues encountered by health professionals involved in delivering integrative health care.

Table of Contents


Taking stock of integrative medicine: Broadening biomedicine or cooption of complementary and alternative medicine? - Hans Baer and Ian Coulter


Advancing integrative medicine through interprofessional education - Kevin Willison

Governing the health of the hybrid self: Integrative medicine, neoliberalism, and the shifting biopolitics of subjectivity - Christopher Fries

Trials and tribulations on the road to implementing integrative medicine in a hospital setting - Ian Coulter, Lara Hilton, Gery Ryan, Marcia Ellison and Hilary Rhodes

The problematic nature of conflating use and advocacy in CAM integration: Complexity and differentiation in UK cancer patients' views - Philip Tovey and Alex Broom

'You just got to eat healthy': The topic of CAM in the general practice consultation - Kevin Dew, Elizabeth Plumridge, Maria Stubbe, Tony Dowell, Lindsay MacDonald and George Major

Integrating biomedical and CAM approaches: The experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS - Rachel Thorpe


In pursuit of health: Pragmatic acculturation in everyday life - Stella R. Quah


Williams A (ed) 423 Therapeutic Landscapes - Bimal Kanti Paul

Jackson M 425 Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady - Stephen Leeder

Hansen E and Easthope G 426 Lifestyle In Medicine - James Trostle

Gallup C 427 Making Babies The Hard Way: Living With Infertility And Treatment - Jacquelyne Luce

Saks M and Allsop J (eds) 429 Researching Health: Qualitative, Quantitative And Mixed Methods - Farida Fozdar

Leung B 431 Traditional Chinese Medicine: The Human Dimension - Hans A. Baer

Integrative, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Challenges for Biomedicine?

Published: 2008
Pages: ii+106
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This book is available as a pdf from eBooks.

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