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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 649265, 9 pages
Research Article

Use of Folk Therapy in Taiwan: A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Survey of Prevalence and Associated Factors

1School of Chinese Medicine for Post-Baccalaureate, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung 82445, Taiwan
2Taipei Chinese Medical Association, Taipei 100, Taiwan
3Quality of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy Medical Association, New Taipei City 247, Taiwan
4Ph.D. Program for Clinical Drug Discovery from Botanical Herbs, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
5School of Chinese Medicine, College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
6Clinical Informatics and Medical Statistics Research Center, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
7Department of Anesthesiology, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei 110, Taiwan
8Health Policy Research Center, Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taipei 110, Taiwan
9School of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan
10Department of Surgery, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
11Department of Surgery, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612, USA

Received 5 February 2015; Accepted 21 May 2015

Academic Editor: Menachem Oberbaum

Copyright © 2015 Chun-Chuan Shih 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. This study investigates the prevalence of and factors associated with users of folk therapy in Taiwan. Methods. Using data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey and the National Health Insurance Research Database, we identified 16,750 adults aged 20 years and older. Sociodemographic factors, lifestyle, medical utilization, and health behaviors were compared between people using and not using folk therapy. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of factors associated with folk therapy were analyzed. Results. The one-month prevalence of folk therapy use was 6.8%, which was significantly associated with ages of 30–59 years (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.49–2.63), women (OR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.40–1.90), nonindigenous population (OR = 1.90, 95% CI = 1.14–3.17), having two or more unhealthy lifestyle habits (OR = 1.51, 95% CI = 1.26–1.81), high density of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) physicians (OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.20–1.62), and being ill without receiving medical care in past six months (OR = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.76–2.53). Medical care utilization of TCM and Western medicine were also associated factors for folk therapy. Conclusions. The use of folk therapy is correlated with sociodemographics, lifestyle and health behaviors.