The utilization of traditional Chinese medicine and associated factors in Taiwan in 2002

Chun Chuan Shih, Jaung Geng Lin, Chien-Chang Liao, Yi Chang Su

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous studies have noted that there is a high utilization rate of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) services in Taiwan, China and in western countries, but few studies investigated factors associated with the utilization of TCM in Taiwan. This study analyzes the utilization rate and the factors associated with the utilization of TCM in Taiwan. Methods: Data for this study were from the 2002 HPKAP Survey that conducted the face-to-face questionnaire interviews of people aged 15 years and over from October 2002 to March 2003 in Taiwan. This study analyzed the utilization of TCM outpatient services, including admission to the hospital and clinic visits. Results: A total of 26 755 participants completed the survey in the six-month period. The data revealed that 10.4% of participants had utilized TCM services in the past one month while 4.2% of participants utilized TCM only (without using Western medicine outpatient services (WM) or Folk therapy (FT)). The average visits of TCM services per patient was higher among people who had utilized TCM and FT services (2.68 visits) than among those who had utilized WM and FT services (2.15 visits) or TCM services alone (2.15 visits) during the previous one month. Younger people (odds ratio OR = 1.78, 95%CI = 1.47-2.16), women (compared with men), and people with higher education levels (OR = 1.58, 95%CI = 1.25-1.98) were more likely to visit TCM than compared groups. People with self-reported poor health status (OR = 2.07, 95%CI = 1.76-2.44) and people who exercise regularly (OR = 1.17, 95%CI = 1.07-1.27) had higher ORs to visit TCM service than comparison group. Conclusions: There is a high utilization of TCM in Taiwan. Further studies are needed to investigate the related factors and determinants between the utilization of TCM and the utilization of FT in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1544-1548
Number of pages5
JournalChinese Medical Journal
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 5 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Survey
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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