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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 387164, 8 pages
Research Article

An Investigation of the Use of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Stroke Patients in Taiwan

1Department of Anesthesiology, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei 110, Taiwan
2Management Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan
3Graduate Institute of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
4School of Chinese Medicine for Post-Baccalaureate, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung City 84001, Taiwan
5Department of Cardiology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 100, Taiwan
6Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
7Department of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
8Chinese Medical Association, Taipei 100, Taiwan

Received 11 September 2012; Revised 14 November 2012; Accepted 19 November 2012

Academic Editor: Alvin J. Beitz

Copyright © 2012 Chien-Chang Liao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The use of complementary and alternative medicine in critical illness is increasing worldwide. This study investigates how traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is used in stroke patients. Methods. Using Taiwan National Health Insurance reimbursement claims, we compared the annual use of TCM between stroke patients and general population, identifying 15,330 patients with a new onset of stroke in 2000–2009. The sociodemographic status and medical comorbidities between stroke patients receiving TCM services and those without using the service were compared. Results. The use of TCM was higher in stroke patients than in the general population, 27.9% versus 25.4% in 2000 and 32.7% versus 27.8% in 2009, respectively, and grew consistently from 2000 to 2009. Among stroke patients, women, younger patients, white-collar employees, higher-income residents, and those living in areas with more TCM physicians were more likely to use TCM. Stroke patients using rehabilitation services were more likely to have more TCM visits (OR = 2.28, 95% CI = 1.96–2.66) and higher expenditure on TCM (OR = 2.67, 95% CI = 2.29–3.12) compared with stroke patients without rehabilitation. Conclusion. TCM is popular and well accepted in Taiwan. Patients with stroke have a higher TCM utilization rate than people without stroke.