Send to

Choose Destination
Complement Ther Med. 2014 Jun;22(3):489-99. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2014.03.001. Epub 2014 Mar 25.

Changes in the use of complementary and alternative medicine in Taiwan: a comparison study of 2007 and 2011.

Author information

Graduate Institute of Integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western Nursing, College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan.
Graduate Institute of Nurse-Midwifery, College of Nursing, National Taipei University of Nursing and Health Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Nursing, National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taiwan. Electronic address:



In this study, we explored the differences in the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) based on data from 2007 and 2011 national surveys in Taiwan.


Two cross-sectional, community-based epidemiological surveys were conducted in Taiwan. Participants 18 years and older were interviewed regarding their CAM use in the previous 12 months. Nationally representative random-household telephone surveys using a sampling method with a probability proportional to size were conducted in 2007 and 2011. The data were analysed to compare the results between surveys.


We obtained a total of 1260 and 2266 valid responses in 2007 and 2011, respectively. The use of at least one or more CAM therapies during the previous year decreased from 48.9% in 2007 to 37.8% in 2011 (p < .001). In both surveys, the most common CAM therapies used were Chinese medicinal herbs followed by health supplement products and tuina. We observed the greatest relative increase in CAM use between 2007 and 2011 in health supplement products (12.8% vs. 16.0%) and massage (1.3% vs. 2.9%), whereas the largest relative decrease occurred for tuina (24.4-13.4%) and Chinese medicinal herbs (31.6-25.4%).


Widespread CAM use reflects a more personal orientation towards maintaining health and selecting health care support services. Thus, a set of standards should be established for the safety and effectiveness of therapies, and consensus building is required to overcome the differences among practitioners from various backgrounds and traditions.


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use; Medical pluralism; National survey; Traditional Chinese medicine

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center