Exchange of Complementary and Alternative Medical Knowledge in Sport-Related Internet Fora

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 University of Tuebingen
  • | 2 Knowledge Media Research Center
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This research note provides an explorative analysis of sport-related knowledge exchange about Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) on the Internet. Data are taken from a qualitative content analysis of the largest German-speaking Internet sport portal. Knowledge exchange about CAM in these Internet fora is characterized by the following phenomena: Users expected CAM to improve their performance and discussed a great variety of treatments based on primarily anecdotal knowledge. In addition, two main types of users (helpers and help-seekers) dominated the exchanges. The main reasons for seeking alternative medical help on the Internet were cases of prolonged illness and dissatisfaction with biomedical care.

Kimmerle is with the Department of Applied Cognitive Psychology and Media Psychology, University of Tuebingen, Germany. Gerbing and Thiel are with the Institute of Sport Science, University of Tuebingen, Germany. Cress is with the Knowledge Media Research Center, Tuebingen, Germany.

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