‘You cannot get enough of them!’ The rise (and fall) of complementary therapies in British nursing practice in the 1980s and 1990s

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This paper examines the emerging use of complementary therapies in British nursing practice at the end of the twentieth century. Many nurses turned to complementary therapies as a means to provide a closer therapeutic relationship with their patients and this paper will establish how nurses were informed and empowered. The paper places complementary practices in the context of nursing developments in the closing decades of the twentieth century and concludes that the extent of the supporting networks that encouraged nurses to incorporate these therapies into their work was more significant than has been previously recognised and exemplifies a distinct period in the history of modern nursing.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Historical Sociology
Early online date12 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Nov 2018