How Comprehensible, Interesting and Relevant is Current Research in Traditional Chinese Medicine for Practitioners?

Becker, Simon; Bernhard, Astrid; Dudler, Bernhard; Gopp, Rosmarie; Näf, Alain; Reis, Thomas; Klein, Sabine D. (2013). How Comprehensible, Interesting and Relevant is Current Research in Traditional Chinese Medicine for Practitioners? In: 8th International Congress on Complementary Medicine Research. London. 11.-13.04.2013.

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Purpose: In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as in other fields of complementary medicine, research does not necessarily follow the sequence from in vitro studies via phase I to phase IV clinical trials, but all steps are being investigated simultaneously. Here, we aimed to investigate which kinds of studies were interesting and relevant for practitioners.

Methods: Thirty abstracts from articles on TCM published between April and June 2012 were randomly chosen, including 5 abstracts each of in vitro studies, animal studies, case reports or series, studies with healthy volunteers, trials with patients, or reviews and meta-analyses. Six TCM practitioners (2 female, 5 non-medical, average age 46 years, average practical TCM experience 9 years) rated 10 abstracts each on a 5 point Likert scale (1=very poor to 5=very good) regarding comprehensibility, interest, relevance to practice, information for patients, and promoting reputation of TCM. Average ratings for each group of abstracts were calculated.

Results: Comprehensibility of the abstracts was generally rated as good. Case reports/series, studies in healthy volunteers and trials with patients were rated interesting by the practitioners (average rating = 3.7, 3.8 and 3.7, respectively). Relevance to practice was mediocre for all types (2.5 to 3.5). In vitro studies and reviews/meta-analyses were not rated useful as information for patients (2.0). Reviews/Meta-analyses were considered negative for the reputation of TCM (2.2).

Conclusions: Practitioners of TCM find abstracts of study results generally comprehensible and interesting. Case reports/series were rated in a similar way as trials with patients. Although TCM is commonly taught by means of case reports, practitioners seemed to value clinical trials. Abstracts of reviews/meta-analyses were rated rather uninformative, which was possibly due to several inconclusive results and the lack of detailed information in these abstracts.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of Complementary and Integrative Medicine (IKIM)

UniBE Contributor:

Bernhard, Astrid, Klein, Sabine


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Sabine Klein

Date Deposited:

21 May 2014 10:03

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:34




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