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Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (1): 22-28.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110105

Special Issue: Traditional Chinese Medicine

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The use of a structured questionnaire to study stagnation syndrome in traditional Chinese medicine among adults living in community

 Siu-man Ng(), C.T. Ted Fong   

  1. Department of Social Work and Social Administration and Centre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  • Received:2010-08-19 Accepted:2010-10-27 Online:2011-01-20 Published:2011-01-15
  • Contact: Ng Siu-man E-mail:ngsiuman@hku.hk

Objective: Traditional Chinese medicine stagnation syndrome is a prevalent syndrome characterized by mind-body obsession-like symptoms. To standardize the evaluation of this syndrome, previous studies have developed and validated a 3-factor, 16-item Stagnation Scale with good psychometric properties. The current study aimed to survey stagnation syndrome among adults in community.
Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among 755 adults recruited by cluster sampling in Hong Kong.
Results: Using self-appraisal of symptom severity as reference, receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis suggested an optimized cut-off point of 50 on the Stagnation Scale, with false positive and negative rates at 25.8% and 23.3%, respectively. Prevalence of stagnation syndrome was revealed at 6.2%. It is more prevalent in women, with a male to female ratio of 1∶2.8 (P=0.02). Stagnation showed significant negative correlation with age (r=–0.22, P<0.01). It showed non-significant correlation with marital status and education level. Among people with stagnation syndrome, 30.4% showed substantial intention to seek treatment (male: 25.0%; female: 32.4%).
Conclusion: Stagnation syndrome seems to be prevalent among adults and shows a fairly high rate of motivation for people to seek treatment. The construct can be a useful entry point for healthcare interventions and warrants further in-depth studies. Limitations of using a structured questionnaire for epidemiological studies and corresponding remedies are discussed.

Key words: melancholia, epidemiologic studies, questionnaires, scale

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