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Table 3 Main categories of 'outcomes' of complex interventions [1]

From: Evaluating complex health interventions: a critical analysis of the 'outcomes' concept

1. Treatment results connected to body sensation
Physical effects like physical symptoms diminishing or disappearing (pain, infections, constipation, tension, fatigue, etc.), strengthening of the immune system, etc.
Mental effects like removal of blockages, getting more energy, better sleep, increased quality of life, better general condition, feeling attended to/safeguarded.
'Side gains' like diminishing or disappearance of other physical symptoms than the ones that the user told the treatment provider about.
Short term responses to the treatment like a change in body odor, increased amount of faeces, change in the odour of the urine, head ache, old symptoms re-appearing.
• Long term responses -
2. Changes in awareness, understanding, insight
Increased bodily consiousness and bodily awareness like being able to listen to and interpreting body signals.
Changes in the knowledge and understanding of, and insight into ones disease/symptoms, including putting into words other ways to understand disease than the biomedical understanding.
Some sort of transformation, understood as an individual, seeking, self integrating, and never ending health-related change process.
Putting into words spiritual aspects and tools for working with spiritual aspects of life.
Greater awareness of one self in different social settings.
3. Changes in actions and development of new competences in the role as one's own 'disease manager' – especially important for people with chronic disease
• Develop a larger room of action and find ones own resources (drive).
• Develop tools to handle life situations, including social activities.
• Develop knowledge and tools to prevent symptoms and to promote health.
1. Launsø L: Therapists' effect assumptions and users' own effort-when people with chronic diseases consult conventional and alternative therapists [in Danish with english abstract]. Tidsskrift for Forskning i Sygdom & Samfund [Journal of Research in Disease & Society] 2008, 9: 97–112.