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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(8), 9237-9247; doi:10.3390/ijerph120809237

Doctor-Shopping Behaviors among Traditional Chinese Medicine Users in Taiwan

1
Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shi-Pai Road, Taipei 112, Taiwan
2
School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Sec. 2, Linong Street, Taipei 112, Taiwan
3
Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taoyuan branch, No. 100, Sec. 3, Cheng-Kung Road, Tao-Yuan 330, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 26 May 2015 / Revised: 30 July 2015 / Accepted: 4 August 2015 / Published: 7 August 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [691 KB, uploaded 7 August 2015]

Abstract

Doctor-shopping has caused an increase in medical expense, potential to receive duplicate medications, and suffer adverse drug reactions. We carried out a population-based retrospective study aimed at examining the user patterns of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) ambulatory care in Taiwan. We retrieved complete TCM ambulatory visit datasets for the year 2007 from the National Health Insurance database in Taiwan. We defined the patients whose distribution of TCM physician numbers scored more than 97.5 percent (more than, or equal to, five TCM physicians) within one year as TCM doctor-shoppers. In total, 6,596,814 subjects (28.9%) paid TCM visits during that year. All 177,728 subjects (2.69%) who visited more than five (including) TCM physicians were classified as TCM shoppers. The most prevalent diagnostic grouping was upper respiratory infections (44.7%) and sprains and strains (44.0%). Men had a lower odds ratio (OR) among TCM shoppers than women (OR = 0.94, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.93–0.96). Younger people were less likely to be TCM shoppers than other people were. The ORs of TCM shoppers were higher among veterans and low-income patients (OR = 1.29 (1.23–1.35), and 1.33 (1.27–1.41)). In conclusion, health education on the potential of drug interactions and iatrogenic health risks incurred from doctor-shopping should be addressed to those high-risk patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: traditional Chinese medicine; doctor shopping; complementary and alternative medicine; national health insurance; utilization traditional Chinese medicine; doctor shopping; complementary and alternative medicine; national health insurance; utilization
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, M.-H.; Chang, H.-T.; Tu, C.-Y.; Chen, T.-J.; Hwang, S.-J. Doctor-Shopping Behaviors among Traditional Chinese Medicine Users in Taiwan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 9237-9247.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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