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Serving Billions: A Pilot Study on Clinician-Perceived Efficacy of Rehabilitative Services in China

Zhao, Mei PhD; Haley, D. Rob PhD, MBA, MHS; Nolin, JoAnn M. JD; Dunning, Kerry MHA, MSH; Wang, Jian MD, PhD; Sun, Qiangsan MD

doi: 10.1097/01.HCM.0000318756.31956.36
Article

China has the world's largest number of disabled people, and this number is projected to grow. Although there is ample literature on the utilization and efficacy of Western medicine as it pertains to rehabilitation services, there is far less research on the perceived efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). A structured questionnaire was designed for a pilot study on TCM and Western medicine used for rehabilitation services in China, their associated charges, and perceived efficacy. A sample of 33 clinicians responded to the questionnaire. The analysis found that clinicians most frequently prescribed Fenbid and Chinese herbs to treat rehabilitation morbidities, and the most common TCM treatments were acupuncture and massage therapy. The average patient charge for each visit for TCM therapy varied from 56 Yuan ($7.30) for Chinese herbal medicine to 12 Yuan ($1.60) for cupping therapy. The most frequently prescribed Western therapies were occupational, physical, and speech. The average charge for each visit for Western medicine varied from 111 Yuan ($14.60) for physical therapy to 48 Yuan ($6.30) occupational therapy. Clinicians indicated that acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, massage, speech, occupational, and physical therapies were "effective" or "highly effective" in treating morbidities requiring rehabilitation services.

Author Affiliations: Public Health Department, University of North Florida, Jacksonville (Drs Zhao, Haley, and Nolin); Dunning Consulting and Health Administration Program, University of North Florida Brooks College of Health, Jacksonville (Ms Dunning); Center for Health Management and Policy, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, PR China (Dr Wang); and The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, PR China (Dr Sun).

Corresponding author: Mei Zhao, PhD, Public Health Department, University of North Florida, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (mzhao@unf.edu).

This research was supported in part by a grant from the University of North Florida Foundation/Brooks Health Foundation.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.