Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 584–590 | Cite as

Prevalence and Determinants of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine Provider Use among Adults from 32 Countries

  • Karl PeltzerEmail author
  • Supa Pengpid
Original Article



To estimate recent prevalence data (2011–2013) on traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) provider use and sociodemographic and health related correlates in nationally representative population samples from 32 countries from all world regions.


This secondary analysis was based on the International Social Survey Program (ISSP), 2011–2013, Health and Health Care Module. In a cross-sectional population-based survey (N=52,801), simple or multi-stage stratified random sampling was used, resulting in representative samples of the adult population of respective countries.


Overall, the 12-month TCAM provider use prevalence was 26.4%, ranging from under 10% in Bulgaria, Poland and Slovenia to over 50% in China mainland, the Philippines and Republic of Korea. Over 80% TCAM treatment satisfaction was found in Europe in Denmark, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland, in Asia in Taiwan (China) and USA. Multivariate logistic regression found sociodemographic variables (middle age, female sex, lower educational status, not having a religious affiliation, and lower economic indicators) and health variables (perceived poor or fair health status, being unhappy and depressed, having a chronic condition or disability, and having positive attitudes towards TCAM) were associated with TCAM provider use.


A high prevalence TCAM provider use was found in all world regions and several sociodemographic and health related factors of its use were identified.


utilization traditional complementary medicine Africa Asia America Australia Europe 


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International Social Survey Programme: Health and Health Care-ISSP 2011 dataset is publicly available at c.ZACAT/ISSP.d.58/by-Year.d.69/International-Social-Survey-Programme-Health-and-Health-Care-ISSP-2011/fStudy/ZA5800


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Copyright information

© Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Institute for Health DevelopmentMahidol UniversitySalaya, Phutthamonthon, Nakhon PathomThailand
  2. 2.Department of Research and InnovationUniversity of Limpopo, Turfloop CampusSovengaSouth Africa
  3. 3.IV/AIDS/STIs and TB (HAST)Human Sciences Research CouncilPretoriaSouth Africa

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