Health, psycho-social and cultural determinants of medication use by Chinese-Canadian older persons

TitleHealth, psycho-social and cultural determinants of medication use by Chinese-Canadian older persons
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsTjam E.Y, Hirdes J.P
JournalCanadian Journal on Aging
Volume21
Issue1
Pagination63-73
Keywords*canada, *chinese medicine, *cultural anthropology, *social psychology, Adult, Aged, article, Demography, ethnology, Female, health care utilization, home care, Hospitalization, Human, immigrant, Male, pain, questionnaire, social isolation, statistical analysis
Abstract

Variations in health and medication use exist across cultures. Medication use among Chinese-Canadian older persons is complicated by many factors including combined use of Western and traditional Chinese medicines (TCM). There is little research on health, psycho-social and cultural determinants of medication use in the Chinese. A cross-sectional census study of community-based Chinese-Canadian older persons in the Kitchener/Waterloo area was conducted using the Minimum Data Set for Home Care and a supplementary questionnaire for cultural issues. The response rate was 89.1 per cent with 106 participants using face-to-face assessments. Socio-demographic and cultural variables were summarized. The multivariate logistic model for TCM use included pain symptoms and being hospitalized, and a curvilinear association between TCM use and health beliefs. For combined medicine use, living with a child, pain symptoms, hospitalization, and social isolation problems were the main effects. Living with a child, physical health problems and number of diseases were associated with Western medicine use. Health, psycho-social and cultural factors were significant determinants for medication use. Education programs for both Chinese-Canadian older persons and health care providers are necessary to understand the appropriate use of Western and TCM treatments.