Applying Data Mining Technology on the Using of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Taiwan: An Application of C5.0 Decision Tree

Yi-Horng Lai

Abstract


This research employed the complete datasets of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) outpatient reimbursement claims from 2005 to 2007 to analyze the using of TCM, the characteristics of TCM patients, and the disease categories that were treated by TCM in Taiwan. With the result of this study, female use TCM more frequently than male, is consistent with previous reports from western countries. The reasons for this female predominance were not fully elucidated in previous reports. It was suggested that independent females, or females of good social status, had higher expectations of or belief in TCM in respect of postpartum conditions, menopause and chronic diseases. The age distribution of TCM users peaked in the 20-29 group, followed by the 10-19 group and 31-39 group. Most TCM visits were to private TCM clinics, followed by the private TCM hospitals. According to the results, the most common reasons for TCM visits were Kuru (460), Cough (786.2), Allergic rhinitis cause unspecified (477.9), Lumbago (724.2), Headache (784.0), Myalgia and myositis, unspecified (729.1), Constipation (564.0), Other sleep disturbances (780.59), Sleep disturbances, unspecified (780.50), and Dyspepsia and other specified disorders of function of stomach (536.8). TCM was popular in the Chinese population. More and more subjects used TCM at least once during the 3-year study period. TCM, like western medicine, was commonly used by the Chinese population for problems and diseases of major human organ systems. This study provides information about the use frequencies of TCM and disease categories treated by TCM, which should be useful for health policy makers and for those who consider the integration of Chinese and Western medicine.

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