The prevalence, characteristics, and factors associated with purchasing Chinese herbal medicine among adults in Taiwan

Chun Chuan Shih, Lu Hsiang Huang, Chun Chieh Yeh, Hsin Long Lane, Chang Ju Hsieh, Chin Chuan Tsai, Li Wei Lin, Ta Liang Chen, Chien Chang Liao

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Background: The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and factors associated with purchasing Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) without a physician's prescription among adults. Methods: Using data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey and National Health Insurance, we identified 16,756 individuals aged 20 years and older. Socio-demographic factors, lifestyle, medical services utilization and health behaviors were compared between people with and without a history of purchasing CHM by calculating adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) in a multiple logistic regression analysis. Results: The one-month prevalence of purchasing CHM without a physician' prescription was 5.2% in Taiwan. People more likely to purchase CHM included people aged ≥70 years (OR 2.84, 95% CI 2.03-3.99), women (OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.11-1.48), non-indigenous people (OR 2.61, 95% CI 1.29-5.30), and people with an illness not receiving medical care (OR 2.69, 95% CI 2.19-3.31). Conclusion: The prevalence of purchasing CHM without a physician's prescription is high in Taiwan and is correlated with factors such as socio-demographics, disease history, and behaviors surrounding the utilization of medical care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number169
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 27 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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