“Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the origins of which can be traced back thousands of years, has a culturally significant role as a traditional medicine among Chinese populations and its use is often integrated with western medicines. TCM encompasses a broad range of therapies, such as herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage, Qigong and dietary therapy. Ever since the COVID-19 outbreak started, TCM has been officially promoted in China by government officials, state media and medical experts as an integral part of the COVID-19 prevention and treatment plan.11–15 Specifically, according to Chinese state media, the State Administration of TCM claimed there are six effective TCM recipes for COVID-19. In addition, TCM is easily available and is not subject to the same strict regulations as Western medicine is (in both China and Canada). This, coupled with the lack of other effective means against COVID-19, has made TCM a popular preventive measure in mainland China despite the lack of scientific evidence.16 Several news reports have highlighted how these mixed messages are leading to confusion in Chinese communities in Canada, and how many individuals are profiting from promoting unproven remedies.”
In early 2020, a research team led by Drs. P. Wang (https://www.med.mun.ca/Medicine/Faculty/Wang,-Peter.aspx )and L. Yang (https://www.ryerson.ca/psychology/about-us/our-people/faculty/lixia-yang/) launched a project that aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Chinese immigrants in Canada. This project was supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research ( https://cihr-irsc.gc.ca/) Part of the project was to examine the attitudes and practice of Chinese immigrants in Canada towards the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine for prevention and management of COVID-19.
An online cross-sectional survey in both Chinese and English was conducted from 2 April 2020 to 20 April, 2020. A total of 754 eligible respondents were included in the analysis. Overall, 48.8% of the study participants believed that TCM was effective in preventing COVID-19% and 46.2% would use TCM if they had COVID-19-related symptoms. However, the corresponding numbers for western medicine were 20.8% and 39.9%, which were statistically lower (p<0.01). Older participants and those who were dissatisfied with their income were more likely to believe TCM was effective against COVID-19. Similarly, older participants , females, and those born in mainland China were more likely to use TCM if they had symptoms of COVID-19. This study was published in BMJ Open (https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/11/9/e051499.full.pdf)
CNIW was the primary research partner for this project. A number of CNIW members are co-authors of this publication. They are: Dr. P. Wang, Dr. L. Yang， Ms. Y. Wang, Dr. Y. Zhu.