Exploring Factors Influencing Consumer Choice of Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Comprehensive Analysis

Jia Yu, Southern Connecticut State University
Luman Zhao, Hebei University of Economics and Business
Sara Taghvatalab, Bentley University
Lijian Qin, Anhui University of Economics and Finance

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a long and rich history and is one of the oldest literates and continuously practiced forms of medicine in the world. It evolved from over 2000 years of clinical observations and reflects the Chinese cultural legacy and values of longevity and wellness. There are rare studies about evaluating the recognition and reputation in its country of origin, China. Our research would like to focus on the following two research questions: (1) How was the current situation of traditional Chinese medicine in China? (2) What are the most important factors to affect patients’ preference on traditional Chinese medicine? The data we used is from Chinese Health Insurance Dataset, which contains the basic demographic, insurance, and diagnostic/treatment information of all patients from urban areas from 2007 to 2017. We started with logistic regression to check the significant factors affecting patients’ TCM preference, and also the magnitude of effects on patients’ TCM preference from all other factors. Our research has demonstrated the several factors which may affect the patients’ selection on TCM, such as age, city type, and payment methods. From the regression results, we can conclude that female patient, older patients, patients from east coast, patient from metro city, or patients with worker’s insurance may have higher probability to prefer TCM. Most importantly, we were able to differentiate the influences from different factors on patients’ preference of TCM. Potential interesting heterogeneity results appear in city type, self-pay rate and age. In the next step of the research, we would like to dig deeply on the relationship between region, city type, and the payment methods. Due to the differentiations of the payment methods among various cities, it is possible that patients from east coast or metro cities have better insurance coverage or lower out-of-pocket payment on TCM.

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 Presented in Session 60. From Traditional to High-Tech Approaches to Health