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Evidence Based Practice in Chinese Medicine: A Systematic Review of Current Literature (Dissertation Review Sample)


conduct a literature review on current literature regarding evidence based practice in chinese traditional medicine


Evidence Based Practice in Chinese Medicine: A Systematic Review of Current Literature
Evidence-based medicine has a huge role to play in medical platforms where physicians are called upon to depict knowledge in their choices. As a result, substantial research evidence is required to enhance this efficiency and prevent adverse treatment outcomes. The current evidence has been incorporated into clinical practice, but there are hurdles posed by current research methods. Most of these models have opted to narrow down on understanding the efficacy of a well-defined or self-limited treatment on a distinct outcome measure such as body mass index (BMI) or blood serum cholesterol levels.
According to Pirotta et al. (2014), Chinese medicine offers a traditional system of therapy through illness prevention or as a therapeutic intervention. The traditional aspects that are borrowed from this methodology include physical exercises such as taijiguan, tuina which is a form of massage therapy, herbal and food models such as gogong and acupuncture or moxibustion.
Shi et al. (2015) report that problems associated with inappropriate use of traditional medicine include renal toxicity which may result from prolonged use of Fang chi root or the Manchurian Dutchman’s pipe. The use of traditional medicine had increased among patients and health providers with 70% to 95% of the general population in developing countries using traditional medicine to prevent disease as well as in rehabilitation and treatment. The main component of Chinese medicine is to emphasize primary prevention, but it can also be applied in secondary as well as in tertiary prevention.
In reference to de Sá Ferreira, (2013) rehabilitation is defined under a tertiary level of disease prevention that assists in eliminating residual disability. This paper addresses a crucial gap in literature through a thorough systematic review to back the traditional Chinese medicine that has particularly been instrumental in improving the quality of life whether the illness can be treated or not with current treatment methods. The paragraph below provides a background on the topic.
Chinese medicine defines a traditional medical system originating from China and has a varying range of experience and theory that clinicians have limited access to. Increased public outrage has encouraged the development of evidence to secure the application of the therapy (Shi et al., 2015). According to Mann et al. (2011), evidence-based medicine describes the explicit and judicious use of best evidence available to enhance the decision made when offering care. Individual expertise has to be coupled with evidence from studies to improve treatment.
Evidence-based medicine provides a standard for modern clinical practice where practitioners incorporate evidence from systematic research to facilitate excellent services. In reference to Fung and Linn (2015), traditional Chinese medicine had evolved from an ancient practice into a system deployed in treating and managing the disease. However, despite the expansion of use and acceptance of its benefits globally, the absence of enough evidence describing Chinese medicine has prevented the Western health officials from endorsing it.
Jiang et al. (2015) argue that traditional Chinese medicine adopts a holistic framework towards treating individuals using customized treatment. This therapy is curated in regards to the concept of syndrome differentiation. Manheimer (2013) reported that although the actual number of members in the United States using Chinese medicine is unknown, an approximated 10,000 traditional practitioners serve about a million clients on an annual basis. White, Prescott and Lewith (2010) presented a study by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicating how 3.1 million Americans used acupuncture in 2006. On the other hand, 2.3 million citizens engaged in tai chi in addition to the 600,000 who practiced qi gong the same year.
Traditional Chinese medicine is widely practiced around the Asian continent such as Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China with the governments recognizing the therapeutic potential. Fung and Linn (2015) report that this conventional treatment is accepted in a majority 80% of the 129 states making up the World Health Organization. It is necessary to create an evidence platform that justifies the benefits attained through this therapy besides offering a rich and reproducible way to obtain those results. In the section below, the author highlights the presence of gaps in the literature and calls upon researchers to design appropriate methodologies to build enough research.
Literature Review and Analysis
Pritzker and Hui (2011) argued that innovative research had already started challenging the conventional methods deployed in evaluating the clinical implications of Chinese medicine. Such models have also highlighted the personal and cultural value of these modalities in the United States which is a foreign location. The development of the mixed-methods approach such as combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies has enhanced research outcomes.
Borud et al. (2007) explored the evidence available at the time of study to describe the efficacy and safety of the method in addition to portraying the challenges faced when applying evidence-based medicine to Chinese medicine. Some of the risks and side effects associated with traditional Chinese medicine include the use of the drug as food supplements that go untested by the Food and Drug Administration. Some of the herbal products were considered unsafe with some of them contaminated with toxins, drugs, heavy metals or generally absence of the active ingredients. As a result, these drug supplements may interact with drugs thus having adverse side effects on people having certain medical conditions.
The herb ephedra (ma huang) for instance has been associated with complications such as stroke and heart attack. The FDA put a ban on products containing those supplements, but this has not prevented traditional Chinese medicine practitioners from giving these remedies (Loke, Price, and Herxheimer, 2007). Ormsby et al. (2016) observe that the number of cases resulting from acupuncture complications is relatively small, but risks may be posed by using unsterile injectables or improper administration of the treatment.
In agreement with Yawen et al. (2016), it is evident that most reviews provide evidence of the potential of these methodologies, but the reported complications resulting from practices such as moxibustion are not included. On the other hand, the rate of occurrence of these effects is also not addressed. When health providers administer models such as moxibustion and cupping to create slight suction marks on the skin of their patients temporarily, they need to have an idea of the origin of those marks to facilitate informed decision making and diagnosis. Thinking of traditional medical systems, this paper considers it as vital to separate, questions related to traditional concepts of well-being such as those addressing the efficiency of specific interventions and their importance in modern medicine.
The philosophies making up Chinese medicine include viewing the body as a version of the surrounding universe. There also consists two complementary and opposing forces such as yin and yang that influence health with pathologies resulting from lack of equilibrium in these forces (Xu et al. 2012). Traditional Chinese medicine also incorporates five elements such as wood, fire, earth, metal, and water that represent all phenomena such as stages of life, body functioning body changes to various pathologies.
The final concept of Qi is an essential energy flowing through the body and performing tasks meant to sustain good health. Such concepts are critical in understanding the background of the traditional medicine. Most of the remedies commonly used by the Chinese medicine include tai chi, acupuncture as well as herbal medicine (Tang et al., 2015). None of the literature sources analyzed supports or identifies evidence indicating the scientific impact of the focused and gentle movements associated with Tai Chi.
The literature gap present is also propagated by the complexity of traditional Chinese medicine which follows complex ideologies thus curtailing the availability of rigorous research evidence (Xiangyong et al., 2016). Most of these studies narrow down on specific aspects such as acupuncture or Chinese medical remedies or the application of Chinese approaches to several conditions.
Jianga et al. (2012) conducted an analysis with regards to data on patients treated using acupuncture to counter neck, back pains or osteoarthritis or migraines and indicated better relief compared to patients who did not receive the same. On the other hand, He et al. (2011) examined the differences in efficiency between stimulated acupuncture and actual acupuncture, the differences in treatment outcomes were negligible. An examination of the efficiency of these methods including systematic reviews does not reach a conclusion on the effectiveness of the conventional methodologies since quality evidence cannot be traced in the field. These constraints have affected the attainment of definite findings and recommendations due to the poor quality of studies.
Regarding Tai Chi, less analysis has been carried out as compared with acupuncture and herbal medicine. NCCIH has continued to support tai chi as it has potential in improving body balance in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Besides, it also alleviates pains for persons having fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis as well as enhancing the quality of life in individuals with heart failure. Fung and Linn (2015) states that the western medicine adopted a protocol based on a disease-targeted a...
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