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Dieppe, P. and Roe, C. A.
It is becoming ever more apparent that the current model of healthcare delivery within developed countries is not sustainable. There are at least two major problems: the continuing development of expensive, high-technology approaches to diagnosis and treatment, which are putting an unsustainable economic burden on healthcare organisations (1); and the rapidly increasing carbon footprint of modern healthcare delivery systems, resulting in an unsustainable burden on the planet (2). Many possible answers to these problems are being considered by medical bodies including the British Medical Association (3). In addition, politicians are turning their attention to prevention, and are trying to move the responsibility for maintaining good health away from healthcare workers, and back to individuals and communities. For example, Public Health England is developing work on ‘salutogenesis’ (the generation of health) in addition to working on the prevention of disease (4,5). Over the last few years there has also been a burgeoning interest in what might be called ‘low-tech/high talk’ interventions such as the ‘walk and talk for mental health’ movement (6) and arts for healthcare (7). This has been accompanied by an increasing appetite amongst the public for complementary and alternative approaches to medicine (CAM).