My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
Issues in complementary and alternative medicine
Why are so many people now turning to complementary and alternative medicine and why do approaches to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) raise such controversy? This free course, Issues in complementary and alternative medicine, explores the following three key areas: 'Why people use complementary and alternative medicine', 'Critical issues in the therapeutic relationship' and 'Ethics in complementary and alternative medicine'.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- understand the diversity of values associated with the use and provision of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) and explore some of the legal and ethical issues associated with CAM use;
- reflect upon and critically evaluate personal and lived experiences of health in relation to CAM;
- relate ethics and values to your own personal situation and to that of others within a given case study or scenario;
- analyse some of the theoretical and professional rationales relating to allopathic and complementary health modalities.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1. Extract 1 Understanding health and healing
- 1.1 Introduction
- 1.2 What is health?
- 1.3 Components and origins of health beliefs
- 1.4 Influences on health and illness behaviour
- 1.5 Models of health care delivery
- 1.6 Models of health care delivery: the biomedical model
- 1.7 Models of health care delivery: the biopsychosocial model
- 1.8 Models of health care delivery: the salutogenic model
- 1.9 Models of health care delivery: alternative or holistic models
- 1.10 Concepts of healing: philosophies underpinning CAM practice
- 1.11 Researching health beliefs and CAM users' expectations
- 1.12 Conclusion to Extract 1
- 1.13 Extract 1 References
- 2. Extract 2 Critical issues in the therapeutic relationship
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 Users' experiences of the therapeutic relationship
- 2.3 Changing notions of the therapeutic relationship and responsibility
- 2.4 Ownership, control and ideas about the body
- 2.5 The therapeutic relationship as a placebo
- 2.6 The failure of CAM therapeutic relationships
- 2.7 The failure of CAM therapeutic relationships: breach of boundaries
- 2.8 The failure of CAM therapeutic relationships: wounded healers
- 2.9 The failure of CAM therapeutic relationships: creating dependency to satisfy practitioners' emotional and financial needs
- 2.10 The failure of CAM therapeutic relationships: sexual abuse and exploitation
- 2.11 The failure of CAM therapeutic relationships: complaints
- 2.12 The future of the therapeutic relationship
- 2.13 Conclusion
- 2.14 Extract 2 References
- 3. Extract 3 Ethics in complementary and alternative medicine
- 3.1 Introduction
- 3.2 Ethics and health care relationships
- 3.3 Why ethical behaviour is central to the health care relationship
- 3.4 Myths about ethics
- 3.4.1 Practitioners know intuitively what it means to act ethically
- 3.4.2 CAM practitioners are more ethical than conventional doctors
- 3.4.3 Respecting autonomy is the foremost ethical principle in health care
- 3.4.4 Law imposes more stringent requirements than ethics
- 3.4.5 What can be agreed about ethics?
- 3.5 The principles underlying ethical practice
- 3.6 Ethical practice and accountability: the role and function of professional bodies
- 3.7 Ethical practice and accountability: individual practitioners’ responsibilities
- 3.8 The centrality of consent
- 3.9 Acting ethically: tools for analysis
- 3.10 Difficulties in applying conventional bioethics to the CAM relationship
- 3.11 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners
- 3.12 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: competence
- 3.13 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: research
- 3.14 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: negotiation of contracts with users
- 3.15 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: respect for autonomy and consent
- 3.16 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: consent for children receiving CAM
- 3.17 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: respect confidentiality
- 3.18 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: maintain professional boundaries
- 3.19 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: professional etiquette and whistleblowing
- 3.20 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: an effective complaints mechanism
- 3.21 Conclusion
- 3.22 Extract 3 References
- Keep on learning
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of participation
On completetion of a course you will earn a Statement of participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
19 hours study
Level 2: Intermediate
Become an OU student
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.