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Background : Tradition al Korean medicine(TKM) has gained in popularity among chronic patients in recent years. The use of TKM among patients with chronic diseases is common, with about two thirds of patients using some form of TKM in Korea. Objectives : The purpose of this study is to analyze the use of TKM and determine what factors affect to use TKM among patients with chronic diseases. The study also aims to provide information on TKM therapies and assist therapy selection among various TKM therapies for patients with chronic diseases. Method : The design of the study was descriptive cross-sectional, and data were collected using a 21-item questionnaire. This study was conducted with subjects with confirmed diagnosis of chronic diseases, who live in Jeju Province, Korea. Results : Among the participants, past or current TKM use was 66.7%, with a statistically significant difference in gender and level of health status groups(P<0.05), but no difference in age, marital status, education, occupation, and income groups. The most common therapies of TKM used by the patients included acupuncture(51.1%), physiotherapy(16.8%), cupping(13.5%), and herbal medicine(4.8%). The main benefits from TKM perceived by the patients were chronic diseases management and health promotion. In a logistic regression analysis, significant influencing factors related to TKM use were gender, family income level, the extent of recognition of efficacy, heath status, and health security program. Conclusions : In this study the socio-demographic and health status, recognition of TKM efficacy factors associated with TKM use among patients with chronic diseases were similar to those found in the general population. The findings suggest that due to the relatively high use of TKM among patients with chronic diseases in Korea, this topic should be taken into account in the development of a holistic approach for patients with chronic diseases and an efficient chronic disease management system. Additionally proactive and consistent management of TKM is necessary in the health care system in Korea.


Background : Tradition al Korean medicine(TKM) has gained in popularity among chronic patients in recent years. The use of TKM among patients with chronic diseases is common, with about two thirds of patients using some form of TKM in Korea. Objectives : The purpose of this study is to analyze the use of TKM and determine what factors affect to use TKM among patients with chronic diseases. The study also aims to provide information on TKM therapies and assist therapy selection among various TKM therapies for patients with chronic diseases. Method : The design of the study was descriptive cross-sectional, and data were collected using a 21-item questionnaire. This study was conducted with subjects with confirmed diagnosis of chronic diseases, who live in Jeju Province, Korea. Results : Among the participants, past or current TKM use was 66.7%, with a statistically significant difference in gender and level of health status groups(P<0.05), but no difference in age, marital status, education, occupation, and income groups. The most common therapies of TKM used by the patients included acupuncture(51.1%), physiotherapy(16.8%), cupping(13.5%), and herbal medicine(4.8%). The main benefits from TKM perceived by the patients were chronic diseases management and health promotion. In a logistic regression analysis, significant influencing factors related to TKM use were gender, family income level, the extent of recognition of efficacy, heath status, and health security program. Conclusions : In this study the socio-demographic and health status, recognition of TKM efficacy factors associated with TKM use among patients with chronic diseases were similar to those found in the general population. The findings suggest that due to the relatively high use of TKM among patients with chronic diseases in Korea, this topic should be taken into account in the development of a holistic approach for patients with chronic diseases and an efficient chronic disease management system. Additionally proactive and consistent management of TKM is necessary in the health care system in Korea.