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J Health Psychol. 2013 Oct;18(10):1307-18. doi: 10.1177/1359105312465101. Epub 2012 Nov 23.

Patients' appraisals of public and private healthcare: a qualitative study of physiotherapy and osteopathy.

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University of Southampton School of Psychology, UK.


Patients have previously reported differences in their experiences of treatments received in the public and private sectors; it remains unclear whether such perceived differences are particular to or shared across different interventions. This study explored whether patients' appraisals of public and private treatments are similar when appraising a complementary therapy (osteopathy) compared to a mainstream therapy (physiotherapy). Thirty-five qualitative interviews were analysed thematically. Patients' appraisals varied by health-care sector and therapy type: physiotherapy was appraised more negatively in the National Health Service than the private sector but osteopathy was appraised similarly within both health-care sectors. Potential reasons for this are discussed.


appraisals/perceptions; complementary and alternative medicine; health-care systems; qualitative methods; treatment

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