DOI: 10.1177/10778004241227269 ISSN: 1077-8004

A Novel Methodology for Engaging Complex Therapeutic Landscapes and Health Care Performances: “Theatricality”

Sarah Croke, Dawn Freshwater
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Anthropology

Complex health care interventions often consist of specific and non-specific effects and can present a methodological and intellectual challenge to researchers. This is especially the case in Complementary and Integrative Medicines (CIM), where research may inadequately capture the holistic nature of therapies, affecting the quality of outcomes and evidence reported. This article introduces a novel approach that advances methodology and helps researchers to “step inside” the therapeutic drama, to improve the quality of evidence produced. The method, termed Theatricality, was trialed in five complementary health centers across four European countries and provides a fresh view of therapy, where the interventions, practitioners, and researchers appear bound by their context and space, creating, or limiting the potential for these acts. Delivered as an adjunct to Ethnography, this approach offers a new way of conceiving, capturing, and communicating whole health care performances that may help to improve the quality of evidence in complex health care interventions.

More from our Archive