Christensen, a., & Jacobsen, N.S. (1996). Studying the effectiveness of psychotherapy: How well can clinical trials do the job? American Psychologist, 51(10), 1032.
Authors emphasized that pain sufferers should not limit themselves to one approach, but should rather seek to identify a broad range of therapies that may result in appreciable gains for the healthcare consumer.
Craig, K.D., & Hadjistavropoulos, T. (Eds.). Pain: Psychological perspectives. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004.
Authors emphasized the continuing risk of unnecessary or undermanaged pain because of an inadequate knowledge base, underdeveloped assessment procedures, and inadequate pain management.
Gersten, R., Schiller, E.P., & Vaughn, S. (2000). Contemporary special education research: Syntheses of the knowledge base on critical instructional issues. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Authors noted that the introduced of computer-assisted statistical analytical tools has contributed greatly to the conduct of meta-analyses in recent years.
Greenhalgh, S. (2001). Under the medical gaze: Facts and fictions of chronic pain. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
The point was made that successful incidents of natural healing are most common among those healthcare consumers who are persistent in their regimens and refuse to give in to the disease process. Several strategies for accomplishing this level of determination are provided.
Hocker, T.R., Mick, K.A., Petersen, C.L., Scofield, B.E., Song, H., Sudarijanto, R.P., & Zettle, R.D. (2005). Differential strategies in coping with pain as a function of level of experiential avoidance. The Psychological Record, 55(4), 511.
Authors conducted clinical experiment to determine efficacy of acceptance and commitment therapy for pain management purposes and concluded that changes in the way pain sufferers think about their pain can facilitate natural healing.
James, W. (1995). Immunization: The reality behind the myth. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.
Author stated that the natural healing methodology includes appropriate diet, exercise, and positive thinking, all of which are necessary to overcome the rigors of the sedentary lifestyles common in the 21st century because people's immune systems "have become weakened and need extra support" (p. 131).
Jonassen, DH (2004). Handbook of research on educational communications and technology. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
In his discussion of triangulated research methodologies, author concluded that this approach provides researchers with a variety of sources that allow the formulation of specific recommendations rather than simply arriving at conclusions.
Lindsey, K., & Tobin, D.R. (1999). Peaceful dying: The step-by-step guide to preserving your dignity, your choice, and your inner peace at the end of life. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books.
Authors emphasized the need to adequate pain management regimens, particularly among the elderly, and strongly recommend that if a pain sufferer fails to receive relief through one pain management regimen to seek alternative guidance and techniques for other healthcare providers rather than suffer needlessly.
Mccracken, S. (1999, June). The new snake oil: A field guide. Commentary, 107(6), 24.
Author emphasized need for more research and a reconsideration of current trends toward the incorporation of alternative medicine into conventional healthcare regimens by mainstream practitioners who may not fully understand the techniques involved and who may not be willing to invest the time or effort to do so.
Pomfret, E. (2005, February 12). Weighing up the alternatives; have traditional medicines and treatments had their day? The Birmingham Post, 47.
Author provided overview of various natural healing techniques and how they can be used by healthcare consumers in lieu of conventional medicine approaches.
Whorton, J.C. (2004). Nature cures: The history of alternative medicine in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Author stated that the perspective of alternative practitioners has been that they are well- intentioned healers struggling to provide viable options to harsh medicines and unnecessary surgeries; however, the response from the mainstream medical community has historically been ambivalent or even violently opposed based on fear of competition and to maintain their power and cultural authority.
Wilke, a.W. (1997, January-February). Body, heal thyself. E, 8(1), 42.
Author emphasized that things are changing and many people are seeking out natural healing alternatives; however, most mainstream practitioners remain unaware or continue to disregard the potential benefits to be derived from natural healing methodologies.
IV. Proposed Methodology.
The methodology to be used in the proposed study will be a triangulated approach, using a critical review of the relevant peer-reviewed and scholarly literature to determine current natural healing methodologies and how they are generally used for pain management purposes for the first leg. For the purpose, public and university libraries will be consulted, as well as reliable online database sources such as EBSCO, MedLine and Questia. Serendipitously identified resources will also be incorporated during this phase of the research.
The second leg of triangulated methodology will consist of a meta-analysis of recent clinical studies involving the use of natural healing methodologies in general and their use in pain management regimens in particular. This approach is congruent with Gersten, Schiller and Vaughn (2000), who advise that, "The meta-analyst is seeking to determine whether a particular finding is robust across different sets of assumptions. If the answer is 'yes,' then greater confidence can be placed in the conclusion. The specific techniques used in any meta-analysis will differ somewhat depending on the characteristics of the data set and the questions asked by the research synthesist" (p. 275).
The final leg of the triangulated methodology will consist of a convenience sample online survey of pain sufferers to determine their use of natural healing methodologies for pain management purposes, and to assess their level of awareness and education concerning their alternative approaches. This research methodology is congruent with a number of social researchers who recommend triangulation to garner as much insight and background into an issue under investigation as possible (Jonasssen, 2004). A three-part anonymous survey will be posted on pain management forums such as "Pain Management Forum" available at http://ehealthforum.com/health/pain_management.html and "MedHelp Pain Management Forum" available at http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Pain-Management-Support/www.board.html. with the goal of collecting at least 200 completed surveys in time for inclusion in the final study. This first part of the survey will collect various demographic data from the pain suffering respondents such as medical condition and length of time the pain has been experienced. The second part of the survey will consist of a series of Likert-scaled questions ranging from "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" concerning various alternative medicine approaches to pain management. The final section of the survey will consist of an open-ended comment section where respondents will be requested to provide their personal experiences, insights and views concerning mainstream medicine and natural healing methodologies as they pertain to pain management regimens.
The results of the proposed study can be used to provide a best practices guide for both mainstream clinicians as well as healthcare consumers concerning alternative approaches to pain management…