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Open AccessArticle

Characteristics of Traditional Chinese Medicine Use for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

by Meng-Chuan Tsai 1,†, Yu-Hsien Kuo 2,†, Chih-Hsin Muo 3, Li-Wei Chou 4,5,6,* and Chung-Yen Lu 1,7,*
1
Department of Sport and Health Management, Da-Yeh University, Changhua 51591, Taiwan
2
Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40447, Taiwan
3
Management Office for Health Data, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40447, Taiwan
4
Department of Physical Therapy and Graduate Institute of Rehabilitation Science, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
5
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan
6
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Asia University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan
7
Department of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taipei Branch, Taipei 114, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4086; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214086
Received: 25 August 2019 / Revised: 17 October 2019 / Accepted: 20 October 2019 / Published: 24 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytics in Digital Health)
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a common musculoskeletal disorder and an occupational disease caused by repeated exercise or overuse of the hand. We investigated the characteristics of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use by practitioners in CTS patients, including demographic variables, socioeconomic status, previous medical conditions, health care use, and hospital characteristics for TCM health care. This cross-sectional study identified 25,965 patients newly diagnosed with CTS based on the first medical diagnosis recorded between 1999 and 2013 in the nationwide representative insurance database of Taiwan. The date of initial CTS diagnosis in outpatient data was defined as the index date, and four patients were excluded because of missing gender-related information. Patients who used TCM care as the first option at their diagnosis were classified as TCM users (n = 677; 2.61%), and all others were TCM non-users (n = 25,288; 97.4%). In the all variables-adjusted model, female patients had an adjusted odds ratio (OR; 95% CI) of TCM use of 1.35 (1.11–1.66). National Health Insurance (NHI) registration was associated with higher odds ratios of TCM use in central, southern, and eastern Taiwan than in northern Taiwan (ORs = 1.43, 1.86, and 1.82, respectively). NHI registration was associated with higher odds ratios of TCM use in rural cities than in urban cities (OR (95% CI) = 1.33 (1.02–1.72)). The TCM group had a 20% less likelihood of exhibiting symptoms, signs, and ill-defined conditions and injury and poisoning. The TCM group had a 56% lower likelihood of having diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue. Multi-level model outcomes were similar to the results of the all variables-adjusted model, except for the NHI registration outcome in rural and urban cities (OR [95% CI] = 1.33 [0.98–1.81]). Significant associations between the number of TCM visits and TCM use were observed in all logistic regression models. The study presented key demographic characteristics, health care use, and medical conditions associated with TCM use for CTS. Previous experience of TCM use may affect the use of TCM for CTS treatment. This information provides a reference for the allocations of relevant medical resources and health care providers. View Full-Text
Keywords: carpal tunnel syndrome; traditional Chinese medicine; occupational disease carpal tunnel syndrome; traditional Chinese medicine; occupational disease
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Tsai, M.-C.; Kuo, Y.-H.; Muo, C.-H.; Chou, L.-W.; Lu, C.-Y. Characteristics of Traditional Chinese Medicine Use for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4086.

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