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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 761497, 11 pages
Research Article

Multivariate Analysis as a Method for Evaluating the Conceptual Perceptions of Korean Medicine Students regarding Phlegm Pattern

1College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-702, Republic of Korea
2Department of Biofunctional Medicine & Diagnostics, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-702, Republic of Korea

Received 3 April 2013; Revised 20 July 2013; Accepted 22 July 2013

Academic Editor: Chang Shik Yin

Copyright © 2013 Hyungsuk Kim 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.


Individuals may perceive the concepts in Korean medicine pattern classification differently because it is performed according to the integration of a variety of information. Therefore, analysis about individual perspective is very important for examining the cross-sectional perspective state of Korean medicine concepts and developing both the clinical guideline including diagnosis and the curriculum of Korean medicine colleges. Moreover, because this conceptual difference is thought to begin with college education, it is worthwhile to observe students’ viewpoints. So, we suggested multivariate analysis to explore the dimensional structure of Korean medicine students’ conceptual perceptions regarding phlegm pattern. We surveyed 326 students divided into 5 groups based on their year of study. Data were analyzed using multidimensional scaling and factor analysis. Within-group difference was the smallest for third-year students, who have received Korean medicine education in full for the first time. With the exception of first-year students, the conceptual map revealed that each group’s mean perceptions of phlegm pattern were distributed in almost linear fashion. To determine the effect of education, we investigated the preference rankings and scores of each symptom. We also extracted factors to identify latent variables and to compare the between-group conceptual characteristics regarding phlegm pattern.