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

Chun Chuan Shih, Lu Hsiang Huang, Hsin Long Lane, Chin Chuan Tsai, Jaung Geng Lin, Ta-Liang Chen, Chun Chieh Yeh, Chien Chang Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number649265
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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