Research: HSU and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 166


HSU and COLLEAGUES,  Department of Nursing, I-Shou University, No. 8, Yida Rd., Yanchao Township, Kaohsiung County 82445, Taiwan.  researched Complementary and Alternative Medicine use in Taiwanese patients with depression.


This descriptive exploratory study investigated the prevalence and type of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use among older Taiwanese patients with a diagnosis of depression.


Self-report questionnaire.


A convenience sample of 206 in-patients (98% response rate) completed the survey. Nearly 70% (69.9%) reported using at least one form of CAM in the past 12 months. Twenty-one kinds of CAM were identified in the treatment of depression, the most common being herbal medicines, spiritual healing, and folk remedies. Only one-third (35.4%, n=73) had discussed CAM use with their psychiatrists. Participants with mild to moderate depression tended to use more CAM than participants with severe depression (GDS-SF: Cramer's V=-.233; HDRS: Cramer's V=.201).


This study confirms the high prevalence of CAM use among older adults with a diagnosis of depression in Taiwan. The popularity of CAM appears to be a consequence of people's preference for a more holistic approach to health care. CAM use needs to be explicitly discussed between patients and health professionals as part of ongoing assessment, patient education and management.


Hsu MC,  Creedy D,  Moyle W,  Venturato L,  Tsay SL and  Ouyang WC. Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among adult patients for depression in Taiwan. Journal of Affective Disorders.  111(2-3): 360-5 Dec 2008.

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