Professionals’ experiences and attitudes toward use of Traditional Chinese Medicine in hospice palliative inpatient care units: A multicenter survey in Taiwan

Yu Jia Lin, Hsiao Ting Chang, Ming Hwai Lin, Ru Yih Chen, Ping Jen Chen, Wen Yuan Lin, Jyh Gang Hsieh, Ying Wei Wang, Chung Chieh Hu, Yi Sheng Liou, Tai Yuan Chiu, Chun Yi Tu, Yi Jen Wang, Bo Ren Cheng, Tzeng Ji Chen, Fang Pey Chen, Shinn Jang Hwang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Medical staff may have difficulties in using conventional medicine to manage symptoms among terminally ill patients, including adverse effects of the treatment. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is regarded as a complementary or alternative medicine, and has been increasingly used in the field of palliative medicine in recent years. This study aimed to investigate the experiences of and attitudes toward using TCM among palliative care professionals, and to provide preliminary information about its use in palliative care. Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey study conducted in eight inpatient hospice wards in Taiwan between December 2014 and February 2016. The questionnaire was self-administered, and was analyzed with descriptive statistics including Pearson's Chi-square test and Fisher's exact test. Results: A total of 251 palliative care professionals responded to the questionnaire, of whom 89.7% and 88.9% believed that the use of TCM could improve the physical symptoms and quality of life in terminally ill patients, respectively. Overall, 59.8%, of respondents suggested that TCM had rare side effects, and 58.2% were worried that TCM could affect the liver and kidney function of patients. In total, 89.7% and 88.0% of professionals agreed there were no suitable clinical practice guidelines and educational programs, respectively, for TCM use in palliative care. Conclusions: Most of the respondents agreed there was insufficient knowledge, skills-training, and continuing education on the use of TCM in terminally ill patients in Taiwan. These results show that to address patient safety considerations, guidelines about use of TCM in palliative care should be established.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100642
JournalIntegrative Medicine Research
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Chinese herbal medicine
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Educational programs
  • Palliative care professionals
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine

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