ŠKunz and Kunz 2003
Research Guide from Denmark
A decision made four years ago has resulted in a new publication from Denmark. The Research Committee of the Danish Reflexologists Association (FDZ) created a goal four years ago to write a research guide "so that alternative therapists wishing to enter the world of research would have an effective tool to complete research and projects concerning alternative health methods."
The resulting publication is Guideline in Securing the Quality of Research Projects for Alternative Therapists authored by Lone Mørch and Leila Eriksen and published by The (Danish) National Board of Health's Council Concerning Alternative Treatment.
The thirty-two page research guide draws on Danish reflexologists' experience in research to describe each facet of the research process. The booklet includes a step-by-step description of creating a research project. The authors venture beyond mere description by providing insight into their own past experience. For example, the first step in a research project is a written project description. The authors note each step in the process but also note its importance. "The description of a project is very often used as the basis for an applicant for financial support of the project. As the competition for funding among researchers is very intense, only well-considered and well-formulated project to receive any funds."
The booklet also contains practical, down-to-earth advice. For example, the authors advise careful consideration of "methods used to collect data and methods used in analysis." They note that "it is advised that a statistician is involved in preparing the project description and questionnaires. This eliminates the risk of the project group finding themselves at the end of the project with a pile of questionnaires, which are filled by useless for their purpose."
The booklet also includes research advise from researchers from other professions &emdash; an anthropologist, a psychotherapist, and two doctors.
Reflexologists from other countries will envy the support and development of alternatives practices in Denmark. The Danish National Board of Health established "The Council Concerning Alternative Treatment" in 1985. The council serves to "forward a dialogue between the conventional health care system and alternative therapists." If a reflexology research project is considered "biomedical research" it is evaluated by the "Ethics of Science Committee" which "carries out an ethical assessment of research projects." To American reflexologists, such serious consideration of the practice has yet to develop.
For information about the FDZ (Danish Reflexology Association), its research reprints, and its English language newsletter, write:
Chr. Winthersveg 13
DK-6000 Kolding, Denmark
Phone: 45 75 50 12 50
FAX: 45 75 50 74 47
Scientific Testing in Denmark
The County of Funen in Denmark will be the site of two investigations into reflexology: "Reflexology and PMS" and "Reflexology and Children with Ear Problems."
The island County of Funen (principle city Odense) and the Danish Institute for Clinical Epidemiology have each contributed DKK 600,000 (US$100,000) to fund the scientific study of 250 Danish children on Funen with inflammation of the middle ear during the next two years. "The aim of the project is to find out whether reflexology can help the very painful disorder as effectively as many therapists claim. "The investigation can be a breakthrough into the otherwise cautious approach of the hospital authorities toward so-called alternative therapies. "Last year reflexologists in the county of Funen treated approximately 200 children with the disorder." (FDZ
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