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The rise of complementary self-care: A national sociological study of women's strategies for coping and living with chronic illness

Funding: 2014: $150,000
2015: $100,000
2016: $100,000

Project Member(s): Adams, J., Davidson, P., Sibbritt, D.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)
University of Queensland (The University of Queensland)

Start year: 2014

Summary: Conventional approaches to chronic illness in Australia have failed to meet the complex needs of sufferers, leading to an exponential rise in interest in and use of complementary self-care, particularly amongst women. In this study, drawing on a unique national sample of women suffering from chronic illnesses, we will provide critical insight into women's complementary self-care practices and structures of disadvantage. This study will be the first worldwide to document previously 'hidden' complementary self-care practices, providing a new framework for understanding and promoting women's health and wellbeing in the context of chronic illness.


Cramer, H, Lauche, R, Adams, J, Frawley, J, Broom, A & Sibbritt, D 2020, 'Is Depression Associated with Unhealthy Behaviors among Middle-Aged and Older Women with Hypertension or Heart Disease?', Women's Health Issues, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 35-40.
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Adams, J, Prior, JH, Sibbritt, D, Connon, I, Dunston, R, McIntyre, E & Lauche, R 2019, 'Women’s Health and Complementary and Integrative Medicine' in Adams, J, Steel, A, Broom, A & Frawley, J (eds), Women's Health and Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Routledge, New York, pp. 77-94.
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Adams, J, McIntyre, E, Frawley, J, Lauche, R, Broom, A & Sibbritt, D 2019, 'Formal and informal healthcare behaviours of women with chronic illness: A cross‐sectional analysis of 1925 women', International Journal of Clinical Practice, vol. 73, no. 4, p. e13343.
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Lauche, R, Sibbritt, D, Adams, J & Cramer, H 2019, 'Characteristics of yoga and meditation users among older Australian women – results from the 45 and up study', Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 35, pp. 219-223.
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McIntyre, E, Lauche, R, Frawley, J, Sibbritt, D, Reddy, P & Adams, J 2019, 'Physical activity and depression symptoms in women with chronic illness and the mediating role of health-related quality of life', Journal of Affective Disorders, vol. 252, pp. 294-299.
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Meredith, S, Frawley, J, Adams, J & Sibbritt, D 2018, 'The Utilization of Health Services and Self-Care by Older Women With Sleeping Problems: Results From a Nationally Representative Sample of 9,110 Women', Journal of Aging and Health, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 540-558.
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Yang, L, Peng, W, Adams, J & Sibbritt, DW 2018, 'Treating People with Arthritis with Traditional Chinese Medicine (Tcm): An Examination of the Perception of Tcm Practitioners', Acupuncture in Medicine, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 228-239.
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Yang, L, Peng, W, Adams, J & Sibbritt, D 2017, 'Prevalence and characteristics of Australian women aged 45 and older who consult acupuncturists for their osteoarthritis', International Journal of Clinical Practice, vol. 71, no. 12, pp. 1-8.
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Keywords: sociology,medical sociology,health social science

FOR Codes: Sociology not elsewhere classified, Women's Health, Sociology not elsewhere classified , Women's and maternal health