Most lack ba­sic TCM knowl­edge

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By JIANG CHENGLONG jiangchen­g­long@ chi­

Nearly 92 per­cent of peo­ple in China can ac­cess ac­cu­rate knowl­edge about tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine in daily life, ac­cord­ing to a study re­leased on Thurs­day.

But only 12.8 per­cent of them have at least a ba­sic level of knowl­edge about TCM, said the study by the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Tra­di­tional Chi­nese Medicine.

It said se­niors, who usu­ally show great in­ter­est in TCM ther­a­pies, ac­tu­ally know the least.

The study an­a­lyzed ques­tion­naires from more than 87,000 peo­ple aged 15 to 69 across the coun­try.

“The ques­tion­naire con­sisted of 140 easy ques­tions. For ex­am­ple, it gave a pic­ture of some well-known acupunc­ture points that are good for health and fit­ness. It let peo­ple choose which one was the fa­mous Yongquan acu­point,” said Tan Wei, as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of Bei­jing Univer­sity of Chi­nese Medicine.

Wang Guo­qiang, di­rec­tor of the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of TCM, was quoted by peo­ as say­ing that nearly 530 mil­lion vis­its were made to TCM hos­pi­tals for treat­ment in 2014, a 47 per­cent rise on 2010.

It is com­monly be­lieved that se­niors fo­cus a lot on TCM, but the study in­di­cated that the group aged 60 to 69 got the low­est score on the test, while the high­est was peo­ple aged 25 to 34.

“Those re­sults were not ac­ci­den­tal. The ma­jor­ity of older peo­ple didn’t get enough education,” Tan told China Daily. “In ad­di­tion, they sim­ply can’t iden­tify


true med­i­cal knowl­edge or skills when brows­ing Chi­nese medicine in­for­ma­tion on the in­ter­net or smart­phones.

“The younger gen­er­a­tion’s abil­ity to un­der­stand is much stronger that the el­derly, and they can ab­sorb med­i­cal knowl­edge a lot eas­ier,” she added.

The re­search also sug­gested that the level of TCM knowl­edge rose with education and in­come.

“The study shows our cit­i­zens know more and more about tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine, com­pared with a sim­i­lar study in 2014,” said Zha Dezhong, spokesman of the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“Mass media play a sig­nif­i­cant role in spread­ing knowl­edge about Chi­nese medicine. Nearly 86 per­cent of peo­ple ac­cessed TCM knowl­edge through media in­clud­ing news­pa­pers and books — but espe­cially TV, which ac­counted for the big­gest pro­por­tion,” he said.

The re­search also in­di­cated a gap in TCM knowl­edge be­tween ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas.

“Although the gap be­tween ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas is get­ting smaller, we will still fo­cus more on the un­der­de­vel­oped ar­eas and old peo­ple,” Zha said. “We will fully uti­lize the re­search to en­hance the spread of knowl­edge in China.”

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