Background: Traditional Japanese Medicine (Kampo) is often used in Japan, but very little data on its users are available. We investigated who uses Kampo, the reasons and opinions for its use.Methods: Questionnaire survey in three Japanese outpatient clinics offering Kampo in different settings: Kampo only, Kampo and traditional Chinese medicine, Kampo and Western medicine. Before seeing the doctor, patients were asked about socio-demographic data, medical history, experience with Kampo, general health-related opinions and behaviours, opinions about Western medicine and Kampo, and reasons for Kampo utilization. Descriptive statistics and predictors for Kampo use were calculated.Results: A total of 354 questionnaires were completed. Participants were 50.97 ± 15.60 (mean ± SD) years of age, 68% were female. Of all patients, 73% (n = 202) were using Kampo currently and 84% (297) had taken Kampo before. Questions on general health-related opinions and behaviour revealed a strong environmental awareness. The most frequent indications for earlier Kampo use were: common cold (36%), gastrointestinal complaints (30%), oversensitivity to cold (" Hi'e-sho" ; 29%), stress/anxiety (21%), and shoulder stiffness (20%). Kampo users suffered more often from chronic illnesses (OR 2.88 [1.48-5.58]). Beliefs in underlying philosophy (Wu Xing (adjusted OR 3.08, [1.11-8.55]), Ying and Yang (OR 2.57 [1.15-5.73], a holistic way of seeing the patient (OR 2.17 [1.53-3.08]), and in Kampo efficacy (OR 2.62 [1.66-4.13]) were positively associated with Kampo use. So was, interestingly, conviction of the efficacy of Western medicine (OR 1.87 [1.28-2.74]). Half of the patients had a general preference for a combination of Kampo and Western treatment.Conclusions: Most patients visiting a clinic that also provided Kampo had previous experience with Kampo. Usage was associated with beliefs in philosophical Kampo concepts and its efficacy.
- Patient opinions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine