Attitudes of Hong Kong Chinese to traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine: Survey and cluster analysis

M. F. Chan, Esther Mok*, Y. S. Wong, T. F. Tong, M. C. Day, C. K.Y. Tang, D. H.C. Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To determine whether within a cohort of Hong Kong out-patients definable subtypes exist based on their attitudes to traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine. Design: Data were collected using a structured questionnaire. Setting: The sample of 503 subjects was recruited at two local outpatient clinics in Hong Kong. Main outcome measures: The study employs demographic variables, illness status, the Chinese-Western Medical Belief Scale, trust of physicians and subjects' preferences on consultation fees, attitude of health care professional, efficacy of service and waiting time during consultation. Results: A cluster analysis yielded three clusters based on their attitudes towards traditional Chinese and Western medicine. One cluster, 24% of the sample, is noted for being older, poorer, more likely to be female and to have chronic conditions; they are sceptical of western physicians. The second cluster (63% of the sample) is younger and have considerably more belief in Western than traditional Chinese medicine. The third group (14%) is intermediate in age and is noted for a marked faith in both forms of medicine. Conclusions: A clear profile of these attitudes of Hong Kong Chinese may benefit health care professionals in making appropriate patient-doctor relationships and planning patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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