Handbook of Culture, Therapy, and Healing

By Uwe P. Gielen; Jefferson M. Fish et al. | Go to book overview

13

Indigenous Chinese Healing: A Criteria-based
Meta-analysis of Outcomes Research

Ting Lei
The City University of New York

Ching-Tse Lee
The City University of New York

Cecilia Askeroth
St. Francis College

Dmitry Burshteyn
Siena College

Andrea Einhorn
White Plains, New York

The first author wishes to dedicate this chapter to the Shining Star in the dark sky and Alison Aplin. He would also like to express his gratitude to Ronald Doviak, Sadie Bragg, Antonio Perez, Manuel Matinez-Pons, Ellen Ciporen, Emily Anderson, Nora Eisenberg, Barbara Tacinelli, and Tracy November, for their valuable support.

In 1990, David Eisenberg from the Harvard Medical School conducted a large-scale national survey (N = 1,539) on the use of alternative medicine in this country and published the results in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1993 (Eisenberg, Kessler, Foster, Norlock, Calkins, & Delbanco, 1993). This survey, which has been well received in the fields of both conventional and complementary medicine, revealed that 33.8 percent of Americans used alternative medicine in 1990, and the total visits to alternative medicine practitioners were about 427 million. In 1997, Eisenberg conducted another national representative survey (N = 1,720) and published the findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 1998 (Eisenberg et al., 1998). The later finding indicated a significant increase in the use of alternative medicine in the past 7 years (from 33.8 percent to 42.1 percent, p < .001). Extrapolations to the U.S. population suggest a striking 47.3 percent increase in total visits to alternative medicine practitioners during the past 7 years, thereby exceeding total visits to all U.S. primary care physicians (628,825,000 visits to alternative medicine practitioners versus 385,919,000 to all primary care physicians). Data also show a 65 percent increase in the total number of alternative therapies used, from 577 therapies per 1,000 people in 1990 to 953 per 1,000 in 1997. At the same time, estimated expenditures for alternative medicine professional services increased 45.2 percent and were conservatively estimated at $21.2 billion in 1997, with at least $12.2 billion paid out-of-pocket. This is more than the 1997 out-of- pocket expenditures for all U.S. hospitalizations.

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