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JAMA. 1980 Dec 19;244(24):2748-9.

Cao Gío (coin rubbing). Vietnamese attitudes toward health care.


Cao gío is the Vietnamese practice of rubbing the skin with a coin to alleviate various common symptoms of illness. The back, neck, head, shoulder, and chest are common sites of application. Although mimicking the lesions of trauma, it is not a harmful procedure, and no complications are known. A survey of 50 Vietnamese living in the United States since 1975 and 1976 has shown marked distrust of American Physicians, owing largely to actual or perceived criticism of cao gío. Acceptance of cao gío as a valid cultural practice will facilitate compliance and adequate medical follow-up.

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