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Workplace complementary and alternative therapies for hospital?site staff

Meade, Oonagh; MacLennan, Sara Jane; Blake, Holly; Coulson, Neil

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Oonagh Meade

Sara Jane MacLennan

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Professor of Behavioural Medicine


Purpose – Workplace wellness schemes are emerging in NHS settings, including complementary and alternative therapy services aimed at improving employee wellbeing. The aim of this study is to explore the impact of one such therapy service on service users based at a large UK teaching hospital.
Design/methodology/approach – In-depth semi-structured interviews were undertaken with seven staff members who participated in at least one workplace complementary or alternative therapy. An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis approach was taken in the design of interviews and the analysis of interview data.
Findings – The following themes were elucidated: having positive but tentative expectations of therapies; enhancing health and wellbeing through therapy; appreciation for the “Q-active” therapy service as part of a workplace wellness programme; and work influencing therapy use and vice versa.
Originality/value – The study adds to the limited research literature evaluating workplace health interventions by using an interview-based qualitative approach to access employees’ experiences of this type of workplace complementary and alternative therapies. Valuable insights were gained about the significance of this particular aspect of a larger workplace health programme. The emergent themes build on the existing literature on individuals’ expectations and experiences of complementary and alternative therapies and also on the potential benefits of such a service for workplace health promotion.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2009
Online Publication Date Nov 1, 2009
Publication Date Sep 25, 2009
Deposit Date Nov 5, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 5, 2018
Journal International Journal of Workplace Health Management
Print ISSN 1753-8351
Electronic ISSN 1753-836X
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 3
Pages 258-271
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Oonagh Meade, Sara Jane MacLennan, Holly Blake, Neil Coulson, (2009) "Workplace complementary and alternative therapies for hospital?site staff", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 2 Issue: 3, pp.258-271,


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