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Heather Boon, BScPhm, PhD

Interim Dean and Professor

Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto
144 College Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3M2
Tel: 416-946-5859
Fax: 416-978-1833


Heather's profile within the University of Toronto's Faculty of Nursing is available here.
Heather's profle within the University of Alberta's Integrative Health Institute (IHI), where she sits on the Scientific Advisory Board, is available to view here.
To view Heather's Research Gate profile, please click here.
Heather's profile in OPEN: Ontario Pharmacy Research Collaboration is available here.


Heather Boon, BScPhm, PhD is a Professor and the Interim Dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto.  She originally trained as a pharmacist and completed her PhD in medical sociology. She has been using, and teaching, qualitative research methods for almost 20 years.  Her work generally follows the ethnographic tradition; however, she has explored other methods such as grounded theory, phenomenology, case studies and discourse analysis for specific research projects. Her current research interests are related to the safety culture of complementary and alternative medicine practices, the professionalization of complementary and alternative medicine practitioner groups as well as complementary and alternative medicine regulation and policy issues. She is the author of a textbook on natural health products and over 130 academic publications.

Selected Publications

Boon H, N Kachan, A Boecker. “Use of natural health products: How does being “natural” impact choice?” Medical Decision Making. 2013; 33(2):282-297.

Tsui, T, H Boon, A Boecker, N Kachan, M Krahn. “ Understanding the role of scientific evidence in consumer evaluation of natural health products for osteoarthritis: An application of the means end chain approach.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012; 12:198
Walji R, H Boon, J Barnes, Z Austin, R. Gray. “Reporting of natural health product-related adverse reactions: is it the pharmacist’s responsibility? International Journal of Pharmacy Practice. 2011; 19(6):383-391.
A Porcino, H Boon, S Page, M Verhoef. “Meaning and Challenges in the practice in the practice of multiple therapeutic massage modalities: A combined methods study. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.  2011: 75.
Ballantyne PJ, RM Mirza, Z Austin, H Boon, JE Fisher. “Becoming old as a “pharmaceutical person’: Negotiation of health and medicines among ethno-culturally diverse older adults” Canadian Journal of Aging 2011;30(2):169-184
Cvijovic K, H Boon, W Jaeger, S Vohra. “Pharmacists’ participation in research: Can they find the time?” International Journal of Pharmacy Practice  2010; 18: 377-383.

Olatunde S, H Boon, K Hirschkorn, S Welsh, J Bajcar. “Roles and responsibilities of pharmacists with respect to natural health products: Key informant interviews” Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. 2010: 6(1):63-69.

Walji R, Boon H, Barnes J, Austin Z, Welsh S. “Consumers of natural health products: Natural-born pharmacovigilantes?” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2010; 10:8.

Boon H, Mior SA, Barnsley J, Ashbury FD, Haig, R. “The difference between Integration and collaboration in patient care: Results from key informant interviews working in multiprofessional health care teams” J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009;32:715-722.

Boon H, Hirschkorn K, Griener G, Cali M “The ethics of dietary supplements and natural health products in pharmacy practice:  A systematic documentary analysis” International Journal of Pharmacy Practice.  2009; 17:31-38.

Moss K, Boon H, Ballantyne P, & Kachan N. The professionalization of Western herbalists: Response to new product Regulations in Canada. Complementary Therapies in Medicine 2007; 15: 264-270.

Kelner M, Wellman B, Welsh S, Boon H. “How Far Can Complementary and Alternative Medicine Go? The Socio-Political Context for Professionalizing” Social Science and Medicine. 2006; 63(10):2617-2627.

Kelner MJ, Wellman B, Boon H and Welsh S “Responses of established healthcare to the professionalization of complementary and alternative medicine in Ontario” Social Science and Medicine 2004; 59:915-930.(role:  participated in study design, data collection, analysis, reviewed and revised paper)

Welsh S, Kelner MJ, Wellman B and Boon H. “Moving Forward? Complementary and Alternative Practitioners Seek Self-Regulation” Sociology of Health and Illness. 2004; 26(2):216-241.