Introduction: Towards a critical social science of CAM in nursing and midwifery

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Nursing and Midwifery: Towards a critical social science, 2008, 1st, pp. 1 - 178
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Within the last decade there have been significant developments in the relationship between complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)1 and biomedical provision. Rhetorics of integration have become increasingly commonplace and an air of consensus, about the incorporation of CAM, as an accompaniment or supplement to conventional treatments, has become apparent. Regardless of the potential barriers to successful integration (Barrett 2003; Hughes 2004; Coulter 2004) the rising tide of popularity of these medicines amongst both providers and consumers has helped cement CAM as a key public health and health care/provision issue (Bodeker and Kronenberg 2002; Giordano et a1. 2003). But with the emergence of consensus comes the potential for a less critical and distanced analysis of the integrative process. This is a tendency, we argue, that should be resisted.
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