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JKM > Volume 45(2); 2024 > Article
Kim and Han: A Survey on Korean medicine doctors’ attitudes toward blood tests, status of usage, and experience and demand for related education

Abstract

Objectives

This study aimed to investigate the attitudes towards blood tests (BT), the utilization of BT in clinical contexts, and the educational needs and experiences among Korean medicine doctors (KMDs).

Methods

An anonymous online survey was conducted among KMDs over a two-week period in 2023. The survey data were subjected to basic statistical analysis and logistic regression.

Results

A total of 773 respondents participated in the survey, yielding a response rate of approximately 3%. Most respondents recognized the necessity of BT in Korean medicine, with 74.77% reporting prior utilization. However, only 43.73% currently utilize BTs. Key barriers to BT utilization included insufficient legal and institutional safeguards and cost burdens. Although 77.62% reported receiving BT education, only 54.85% deemed it useful, yet 95.21% expressed intent for future education. Younger KMDs exhibited lower BT utilization and lower agreement rates on the usefulness of education but higher demand for education. The longer the training period in Korean medicine hospitals, the higher the rate of experience with BTs, related education and the agreement on the usefulness of the education. And they had relatively less need for further education.

Conclusions

Efforts are needed to meet the demand for BT education among KMDs. In particular, it seems necessary to identify the higher demand among young KMDs and prepare for education at a level equivalent to a training course in Korean medicine hospitals rather than in a form that just follows past education practices.

Acknowledgement

통계분석을 맡아 주신 씨알에스인사이트 정수연 이사님께 감사드립니다

Table 1
Characteristics of Survey Participants (n=773)
Variables Number Percent
Gender Male 560 72.45
Female 213 27.55

Age range 20’s 93 12.03
30’s 239 30.92
40’s 223 28.85
50’s 164 21.22
Over 60’s 54 6.99

Medical experience < 5 years 174 22.51
5–9 years 141 18.24
10–19 years 222 28.72
20–29 years 161 20.83
≥ 30 years 75 9.70

Work type Private physicians 447 57.83
Hospitalists 174 22.51
Public service doctors 58 7.50
Trainee 37 4.79
Clinical professors 24 3.10
Preclinical medicine professors 8 1.03
Etc. 25 3.23

Currently undergoing treatment Yes 733 94.83
No 40 5.17

Working organization KM clinic 538 69.60
KM hospital 114 14.75
WM hospital 7 0.91
Nursing hospital 24 3.10
Public health center 47 6.08
Etc. 3 0.39
No response 40 5.17

Training experience No 486 62.87
Yes (Intern) 64 8.28
Yes (Resident) 223 28.85

Majors in Korean medicine Internal medicine 93 12.03
Acupuncture & Moxibustion 40 5.17
Rehabilitation Medicine 26 3.36
Sasang Constitution Medicine 9 1.16
Neuropsychiatry 18 2.33
Gynecology 20 2.59
Pediatrics 9 1.16
OT & OL & DM 8 1.03
No response 550 71.15

KM: Korean medicine, WM: Western medicine, OT: ophthalmology, OL: otorhinolaryngology, DM: dermatology

Table 2
Responses to Each Survey Question (n=773)
Category Questions Options Number Percent
Attitudes Necessity of BT Absolutely necessary 584 75.55
Generally necessary 184 23.80
Generally no necessary 4 0.52
Not necessary at all 1 0.13

Experience in usage Experience in BT for KM CP Yes 578 74.77
No 195 25.23

Currently using BT Yes 338 43.73
No 240 31.05
No response 195 25.23

Reasons for not using BTMAQ Lack of legal and institutional safeguards 113 14.62
BTs are not required in KM CP 4 0.52
Lack of patient awareness about BTs in KM CP 34 4.40
Cost of purchasing a BT machine 103 13.32
Cost per BT 103 13.32
Time required to collect blood and confirm test results 44 5.69
No personnel to collect blood 58 7.50
Concerns about safety accidents 13 1.68
Difficult to use external companies 77 9.96
Difficult to interpret BT results 6 0.78
Difficult to apply BT results to KM CP 4 0.52
Etc. 5 0.65

Experience and need for education BT education experience Yes 600 77.62
No 173 22.38

Education pathMAQ College of KM 319 41.27
Graduate school of KM 29 3.75
KM hospital training course 252 32.60
Continuing education of KM doctors 220 28.46
Etc. 82 10.61

Educational usefulness Strongly agree 159 20.57
Generally agree 265 34.28
Generally disagree 138 17.85
Strongly disagree 38 4.92
No response 173 22.38

Willing to receive further education Yes 736 95.21
No 37 4.79

BT: blood test, KM: Korean medicine, CP: clinical practice, MAQ: multiple answer question

Table 3
Effect of Participant Characteristics on Survey Responses
Variables BT required for KM CP Have ever used BT for KM CP Currently using BT Experience in BT education The education was useful Willing to receive further education






OR 95% CI PFT OR 95% CI PFT OR 95% CI PFT OR 95% CI PFT OR 95% CI PFT OR 95% CI PFT
Gender MRef 1 1 1 1 1 1
F >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 1.269 0.873 1.845 1.108 0.767 1.599 0.952 0.653 1.387 1.09 0.732 1.622 1.028 0.489 2.162

Age range 20’sRef 1 0.4273 1 0.0244 1 0.0178 1 <.0001 1 0 1 0.0148
30’s <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 2.159 1.294 3.602 0.792 0.423 1.483 0.675 0.339 1.347 1.631 0.944 2.817 0.635 0.132 3.045
40’s <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 2.228 1.325 3.747 0.825 0.438 1.553 0.464 0.235 0.915 1.476 0.846 2.575 0.386 0.085 1.762
50’s <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 1.982 1.149 3.419 0.539 0.280 1.040 0.459 0.227 0.928 1.710 0.939 3.114 0.379 0.080 1.790
≥ 60’s <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 2.907 1.303 6.486 0.469 0.209 1.054 0.185 0.082 0.416 1.705 0.676 4.300 0.176 0.034 0.905

Yrs in ME <5Ref 1 0.1593 1 0.0023 1 0.0271 1 0.0013 1 0.0137 1 0.0112
5–9 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 3.291 1.917 5.651 0.787 0.459 1.350 1.559 0.846 2.875 1.694 1.002 2.862 0.223 0.046 1.089
10–19 1.559 <0.001 >999.999 2.207 1.424 3.420 0.920 0.557 1.521 0.774 0.477 1.258 1.538 0.956 2.474 0.187 0.042 0.840
20–29 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 1.878 1.177 2.996 0.683 0.400 1.167 0.760 0.452 1.278 2.108 1.226 3.625 0.222 0.047 1.063
≥ 30 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 3.060 1.564 5.985 0.460 0.243 0.872 0.408 0.224 0.742 1.832 0.875 3.834 0.113 0.023 0.557

WT PPRef 1 1 1 1 1 1
Hos 0.581 0.096 3.508 0.876 0.586 1.308 0.907 0.601 1.368 1.457 0.952 2.231 1.197 0.768 1.866 1.589 0.638 3.956
PSD >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 0.238 0.136 0.419 0.216 0.084 0.554 3.180 1.332 7.596 0.754 0.409 1.390 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999
Trainee >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 24.594 3.333 181.501 6.422 1.521 27.11 0.651 0.318 1.333 0.993 0.225 4.375
CP >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 7.238 0.966 54.231 7.173 1.655 31.088 8.438 1.127 63.15 9.545 1.270 71.744 0.397 0.111 1.425
PMP >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 2.203 0.268 18.107 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 2.569 0.313 21.097 2.605 0.310 21.925 0.397 0.047 3.360
Etc. >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 0.809 0.329 1.99 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.780 0.328 1.854 1.042 0.358 3.037 1.362 0.177 10.496

CUT YRef 1 1 1 1 1 1
N <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 1.288 0.642 2.585 20.409 4.795 86.862 1.007 0.470 2.159 0.83 0.364 1.893 1.667 0.489 5.680

WO KMCRef 1 1 1 1 1 1
KMH >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 5.222 2.373 11.494 8.013 3.937 16.313 2.654 1.443 4.881 2.162 1.246 3.752 0.877 0.351 2.190
WMH >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 2.050 0.245 17.178 0.736 0.147 3.691 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 0.625 0.138 2.834 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999
NH 0.172 0.019 1.603 0.683 0.286 1.632 0.049 0.006 0.375 0.478 0.208 1.102 1.719 0.471 6.269 0.341 0.095 1.220
PHC >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 0.194 0.104 0.362 0.158 0.045 0.557 3.673 1.295 10.419 0.875 0.452 1.696 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999
Etc. >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 0.938 0.084 10.437 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999

TE NRef 1 1 <.0001 1 0 1 <.0001 1 <.0001 1 0.0076
Y (Int) 0.523 0.058 4.752 2.853 1.416 5.746 0.636 0.356 1.135 2.214 1.125 4.357 1.995 1.028 3.873 0.692 0.196 2.444
Y (Res) >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 6.402 3.773 10.862 1.262 0.880 1.809 10.921 5.457 21.855 3.688 2.387 5.700 0.388 0.194 0.775

Majors in KM A&M Ref 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
IM <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.647 0.128 3.258 0.431 0.182 1.021 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 2.227 0.748 6.634 0.757 0.194 2.956
RM <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 0.842 0.268 2.646 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.545 0.165 1.801 0.973 0.151 6.259
SCM <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.421 0.034 5.226 0.310 0.064 1.499 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 0.649 0.060 7.070
NP <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.421 0.054 3.255 0.399 0.116 1.377 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.636 0.158 2.567 0.649 0.099 4.263
GYN <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 1.000 0.085 11.738 0.345 0.107 1.112 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.689 0.172 2.757 1.541 0.150 15.830
PED <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.421 0.034 5.226 0.931 0.159 5.446 <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.636 0.106 3.835 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999
OOD <0.001 <0.001 >999.999 0.088 0.012 0.660 0.466 0.067 3.237 1. 000 <0.001 >999.999 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999 >999.999 <0.001 >999.999

BT: blood test, KM: Korean medicine, CP: clinical practice, OR: odds ratio, CI: confidence interval, PFT: p for trend, M: male, F: female, Ref: reference group, Yrs: years, ME: medical experience, WT: working type, PP: private physicians, Hos: hospitalists, PSD: public service doctors, CP: clinical professors, PMP: preclinical medicine professors, CUT: currently undergoing treatment, Y: yes, N: no, WO: working organization, KMC: Korean medicine clinic, KMH: Korean medicine hospital, WMH: Western medicine hospital, NH: nursing hospital, PHC: public health center, Int: intern, Res: resident, A&M: Acupuncture & Moxibustion, IM: internal medicine, RM: rehabilitation medicine, SCM: Sasang Constitution medicine, NP: neuropsychiatry, GYN: gynecology, PED: pediatrics, OOT: Ophthalmology & otorhinolyarngology & dermatology

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