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Medical Pluralism in East and West Europe: A Comparison of People Visiting Alternative/Traditional/Folk Healthcare Practitioners
  • Ivan Soucek,
  • Roman Hofreiter
Ivan Soucek

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Roman Hofreiter
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Using data from International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), the principal aim of this study was to conduct a cross-cultural comparision of medical pluralism in Eastern and Western European countries. In Easterne Europe, a total of 531 (5.5%) respondents reported and alternative/traditional/folk (A/T/F) healthcare practitioner visit during preceding 12 months, the results of the survey showed that in Western Europe, similar visits were reported by 17,881 (11.6%) individuals. In the Western region of Europe, CAM methods either provide a coping strategy for those on low incomes, with limited access to conventional healthcare or an alterantive option for members of the younger generation. However, in the Eastern region, A/T/F practitioners are mostly visited by city dwellers, who have a higher socio-economic status, a relatively high level of trust in physicians.