The use of unorthodox therapies and marginal practitioners

Jennie J. Kronenfeld, Cody Wasner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


This study examines the extent of utilization of unorthodox therapies and marginal practitioners among patients with one broad category of chronic disease, rheumatic disorders. Almost all respondents (94%) had tried some unorthodox remedy or practitioner, and several had used 13 different unorthodox remedies or practitioners. There was no relationship between age, sex, race, geographic location and magnitude of usage of treatments. There was no statistically significant relationship between education and income and amount of usage, although there was some variation by income group in which unorthodox remedies were employed. Thus, this study provides evidence that some elements of folk medicine practice continue to exist among most segments of the American population and this issue deserves further research. An important role for medical sociologists is to examine disease and disease treatment from the perspectives of the lay culture, as well as that of the medical community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1125
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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