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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1999;32(2): 162-169.
Attitudes toward Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Suwon City.
Mi Sook Song, Ki Hong Chun, Hyun Jong Song, In Whee Park, Seung Chul Yoo
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Korea.
2Senior student of Ajou University School of Medicine, Korea.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes toward complementary and alternative medicine among 1,490 residents(339 households) in Suwon city. METHODS: All respondents were asked about types, frequency, effects, side-effects, views, and cost of complementary or alternative medicine through a questionnaire from July 24th to 27th. Six therapies were investigated: diet; acupuncture/ massage/ chiropractic etc.; mind control such as Ki/ Yoga/ spiritual therapy/ relaxation therapy etc.; nutritional supplements, cultural remedies; and Herb medications. RESULTS: The results of this survey were as follows: 35.6% of respondents had experiences with at least one or more types of complementary and alternative medicine. The average number of different types of therapies used was 3.4. More experience with various types of therapies were found among those respondents of higher education, older age group, higher income, married group, religious group than among the opposite groups of respondents. Herb medications were used most frequently(39.8%), followed by minor grains(37.9%), Ginseng(23.8%), Boshintang(21.5%), acupuncture(20.3%), Gaesojou (15.3%), Gingko nut(12.0%), mushroom(11.5%), Cupping therapy(10.2%), and black goat(0.0%). Acupuncture and Herb medications were used for treatment of hypertension the most frequently; minor grains or silkworm for treatment of diabetic mellitus; vegetables for treatment of obesity; acupuncture, Cupping Therapy, Herb medications for treatment of rheumatism; and acupuncture, Herb medications, or exercises for treatment of Cerebro Vascular Accident(CVA). The average costs of treatment were 108,000 Won for hypertension, 87,200 Won for diabetic mellitus, 16,800 Won for obesity, 68,800 Won for rheumatism, and 87,500 Won for CVA. Among 10.9% of respondents, there were 13 cases of side-effects with acupuncture, Herb medications, and Gaesojou. Among the cases of side-effects, majority was due to Herb medications. Respondents reported that Cupping Therapy was the most effective, followed by acupuncture, Ginseng, Gingko nut, Boshintang, black goat, minor grains, Gaesojou, Herb medications, vegetables, and mushroom. In response to the views of complementary and alternative medicine which they had used, they recommended minor grains first, followed by Ginseng, acupuncture, Gingko nut, Cupping Therapy, vegetables, Boshintang, black goat, mushroom and Herb medications. In contrast, they did not recommend Herb medications, acupuncture, nor Gaesojou. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that many people use various complementary and alternative medicine without any guidelines for treatment of serious chronic diseases not even to invigorate themselves. It is, therefore, suggested that medical doctors or scientists verify the true effects or side-effects from the most common complementary or alternative therapies through experiments. Also medical doctors should provide a comfortable atmosphere for discussion among doctors and patients who would like to try these therapies.
Key words: Complementary and alternative medicine; Attitude; Chronic diseases
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