Healthcare utilization and perceived health status among falun gong practitioners in Taiwan

Yu Whuei Hu, Li Shan Huang, Eric J. Yeh, Mai He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Falun Gong (FLG) is a practice of mind and body focusing on moral character im-provement that includes meditative exercises. In this study, we explored perceived health sta-tus, healthcare resource utilization, and related factors among Taiwanese FLG practitioners, compared to themselves before practicing FLG, and also to the general Taiwanese norm, as reported by the 2001 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Methods: This cross-sectional study was based on a voluntary, paper-based survey conducted from October 2002 to February 2003 using the same Taiwanese SF-36 instrument employed by the NHIS. Primary outcomes included 8 SF-36 domain scores and the number of outpatient visits. One-sample t-tests, one-way ANOVA, and multivariate linear regression analyses were used. Results: The response rate was 75.6% (1210/1600). Compared to the norm, the study cohort had significantly higher scores in 6 of 8 SF-36 domains across sex and age (p < .05). Among those with chronic diseases, 70% to 89% reported that their conditions were improved or cured. Additionally, 74.2% and 79.2% participants stopped drinking alcohol and quit smoking; 62.7% reported decreased outpatient visits (mean before = 11.96; mean after = 5.87; norm = 14.4). Conclusions: In this cohort, FLG participants had higher perceived health scores than the population norm and reduced outpatient visits than before practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-531
Number of pages21
JournalHealth Behavior and Policy Review
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Falun Gong
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Healthcare utilization
  • Meditation
  • Perceived health
  • Qigong

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