Savoirs, confiance et risque : la vaccination chez les naturopathes québécois

Authors: Malo, Benjamin
Advisor: Dubé, Ève
Abstract: Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), particularly naturopathy, has increased in popularity among the Quebec population. Simultaneously, vaccine hesitancy is gaining momentum worldwide. If this trend persists, vaccination rates could decrease and there could be a resurgence of many deadly illnesses. Scientific literature suggests that CAM practitioners and their users have generally negative attitudes towards vaccination. It is therefore of the utmost importance to study the links between vaccine hesitancy and naturopathy in Quebec. Within the scope of my Master’s, I studied the influence of knowledge and trust on naturopaths’ ways of reasoning about risks associated with vaccination and I investigated how they manage these risks. To achieve this goal, I conducted 15 semi-structured interviews with Quebec naturopaths. The results of my research suggest that Quebec naturopaths believe that health can be achieved through a study of the causes of diseases in a holistic perspective and through the stimulation of the body’s vitality. Diseases, in this perspective, come from the imbalances of what naturopaths call the “field”. Through their practice, primarily based on nutrition, they encourage their clients to autonomously take responsibility for their health so they can restore the balance of their fields themselves, and therefore, return to health. This notion of health and care, paired with the trust naturopaths have toward their experiential knowledge, play a key role in how they think about risks inherent to vaccination and infectious diseases. Concerns about the risks that vaccination might break the homeostasis of the field are far greater than those associated with the risk of infectious diseases. Therefore, to manage these risks, naturopaths adopt many strategies that target the upholding of the field’s balance.
Document Type: Mémoire de maîtrise
Issue Date: 2021
Open Access Date: 1 June 2021
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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