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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2023, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (3): 215-220.doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2023.03.001

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Understanding health literacy from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective

Zhiyi Qian a, Grace Y. Wang b, Marcus Henning a, Yan Chen a   

  1. a Centre for Medical and Health Science Education, University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
    b School of Psychology and Wellbeing, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia
  • Received:2022-03-08 Accepted:2023-01-19 Online:2023-05-15 Published:2023-03-04
  • Contact: Zhiyi Qian

Health literacy is critical to improving individual and public health. However, indigenous perceptions of health are largely absent from Western-derived measurements, contributing to disparities in health outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous populations. China is the country with the world’s largest population and only officially introduced the term “health literacy” in 2008. Current measures of health literacy in China are primarily based on Western-derived constructs, which have been shown to have poor comparability to the unique dual medical system in China. Given its significant importance to health management globally, understanding health perceptions from a traditional Chinese medicine perspective is essential. This review explores the concept and core elements of indigenous health literacy, evaluates the existing definitions and measurement tools as applied to the concept, and proposes a new model of traditional Chinese medicine health literacy.

Key words: Traditional Chinese medicine, Health literacy, Conceptual model, Measurement

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