A public survey of traditional, complementary and integrative medicine use during the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong.

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 7)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 5,327 words
Lexile Measure: 1560L

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Abstract :

Background During COVID-19, the public actively sought non-pharmacological and self-management approaches to prevent infection. Little is known on the use of traditional, complementary and integrative medicine (TCIM) by the public as preventive measures. This study investigated the prevalence and patterns of TCIM use during the pandemic, and identified factors associated with its use among the general population in Hong Kong. Methods An online cross-sectional survey was conducted from November to December 2020. The survey solicited information on the respondents' sociodemographic characteristics, risk perception of the pandemic, and use of TCIM before and during the pandemic. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine predictors of TCIM use. Results In total, 632 responses (completion rate = 88.1%) were analyzed. TCIM was used by 44.0% of respondents during the pandemic. The most popular forms of TCIM were vitamins or other dietary supplements (n = 160, 25.3%) and Chinese herbal medicine (n = 122, 19.3%) during the pandemic. The most frequently reported indication was strengthening the immune system, especially for vitamins or other dietary supplements (n = 142/160, 88.8%). Respondents who reported using TCIM were more likely to be female (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.29-2.59), had higher education attainment (aOR = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.39-3.59), and older-aged (age 55 years: aOR = 1.77, 95% CI = 1.04-3.02). Respondents who resided in districts with moderate to high number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (aOR = 1.60, 95% CI = 1.07-2.42) and had a higher level of risk perception (aOR = 1.04, 95% CI = 1.01-1.07) were also more likely to use TCIM. Conclusion TCIM was used commonly in Hong Kong during the COVID-19 pandemic. While vaccination and social distancing remain the mainstay of controlling the pandemic, professional bodies should proactively consider public preferences and provide information regarding the effectiveness and safety of TCIM for COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A667082224