Metaphorische Aspekte der Misteltherapie im Patientenerleben - eine qualitative Studie
Journal/Book: Forschende Komplementärmedizin und Klassische Naturheilkunde Research in Complementary and Classical Natural Medicine. 2001; 8/2: &(-/).
Abstract: Objective: Mistletoe therapy is an item of research because of its immunological features. Nevertheless, mistletoe should be also an item of research because of its semiotics. Long before R. Steiner proposed mistletoe as an anticancer drug, this plant seemed to have its meaning not by pharmacodynamics but by pharmacosemiotics and magic. Thus, metaphorical aspects of mistletoe therapy should be described by processing the transcript and paintings from a therapeutic group session of cancer patients. Especially the relation between individually and historically coded metaphors should be looked at. Material and Methods: Sample of this qualitative study is the transcript of a therapeutic session of 12 female malignoma patients getting mistletoe infusions (Isorel°) since 1.5 years in a general practitioners' practice. Sequential coding of the transcript, inventory of themes, and structural hypothesis are the first steps.The structural hypothesis is triangulated by a textual corpus containing anthroposophic and ethnographic material; then a grounded theory is made. Results: The material is divided. On the one hand, there is a huge amount of historically coded, stereotypic metaphors (sun, cancer, ritual). On the other hand, 'ritual' seems not only a stereotypic metaphor but also a container of individually coded metaphors concerning body experiences (proprioceptive etc.). Metaphors from anthroposophy are rare - the metaphors seem to stem from a deeper level of ethnographic sources.The whole session has a polyphone narrative structure. Categories of semiotics such as icon, index and symbol are only by the context of interaction a suitable description for mistletoe's metaphoric function. Conclusions: Problems of bias (denominator problem, valid but not reliable) are discussed, and a proposal is made for further forms of generalization of the results (semantic differentials). Moreover, it has to be asked if different preparations of mistletoe (e.g. lectine standard, draft from planta tota) make different halos of metaphors.