Main Organiser

Julius Centre University of Malaya

Co-organiser

Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malay

Supported by

University of Malaya

USE OF TRADITIONAL AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE BY OLDER MALAYSIANS

Author

Tengku Aizan Hamid 1 , Zaiton Ahmad 2 , Sen Tyng, Chai 1

Institution

1 Institute of Gerontology, Universiti Putra Malaysia
2 Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia

Abstract

Objectives: The study aims to determine the prevalence and factors associated with the use of traditional complementary medicine (TCM) among older persons in Malaysia

Methods: Data from the “Determinants of Wellness among Older Malaysians” study in 2009 was used for this analysis (n = 2,562). Questions on health services used in the past three months and their frequency were included in the questionnaire

Results: The results found that 6.4% of the respondents aged 60 years or over sought traditional complementary medicine (TCM) services from Chinese medicine physicians (2.4%), Islamic healers (1.8%), bomohs (1.4%) and other alternative treatments such as reflexology (1.2%), acupuncture (0.3%), spa (0.2%), or homeopathy (0.1%), averaging 1.21 to 2.86 visits over a three- month period. A majority of the TCM users utilized formal public or private health services, and the practice is more prevalent among the Chinese, unmarried and more educated elderly

Conclusion: Compared to the utilization rates for formal medical services in the same period, TCM clearly plays a supplementary role in the treatment of health problems. Both physicians and their patients must be open about the different choices of treatment, but decisions should be evidence- based