Work on the experiences of cancer patients and professionals awarded
10 July 2009
Dr Alex Broom has won the Institute of Social Sciences' prize for the Best 2008 University of Sydney Published Research by an Early Career Researcher. His book, titled Therapeutic pluralism: Exploring the experiences of cancer patients and professionals (Routledge) involved two years fieldwork in oncology wards and hospices in the UK interviewing cancer patients, oncologists and specialist cancer nurses about their understandings and experiences of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
Therapeutic Pluralism provides novel empirical and theoretical insight into contemporary shifts in perceptions of legitimacy, risk and effectiveness, focusing on how cancer patients critically engage with questions about the nature of knowledge and the potential pitfalls of science. It also documents the ways in which cancer clinicians communicate with their patients about CAM, and models the potential impact on patient action.
In order to extend beyond the 'snapshot' approaches often used by social scientists, Therapeutic Pluralism captures the temporal character of disease experience and patient decision making through the use of longitudinal and innovative qualitative research methods. This book was co-authored with Dr Philip Tovey at the University of Leeds, UK.
Dr Broom of the Faculty of Health Sciences' Discipline of Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health, will receive the award at the Institute's Annual Forum on 22 September.