"They're made in factories and not by witches on the allotment": a qualitative study of midlife women in the United Kingdom, exploring their approaches to complementary and alternative medicines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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External organisations

  • University of York
  • Warwick University
  • Univ Laval


This article explores midlife women's experiences and approaches related to complementary and alternative therapies (CAMS). Ninety-six midlife women were asked about their use of CAMs as part of their overall approach to midlife health. Qualitative thematic analysis was combined with a case-based approach. Women set their experience of CAMs in the context of conventional medicine taking and discussed their safety and different uses. For treatments requiring direct contact with a practitioner, accessibility and quality of the relationship were crucial. Four overall approaches could be discerned (political-critical, pragmatic, careful and wellbeing-oriented) that dynamically interacted with women's experiences.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-67
Number of pages22
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Issue number12
Early online date16 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Questionnaires, Attitude to Health, Patient Satisfaction, Women's Health, Humans, Quality of Life, Great Britain, Complementary Therapies, Women's Health Services, Patient Education as Topic, Self Concept, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Adult, Holistic Health, Middle Aged, Female