Differences and common ground in the frameworks of health-related quality of life in traditional Chinese medicine and modern medicine: a systematic review

Yifan Ding*, Zhuxin Mao, Nan Luo, Zhihao Yang, Jan Busschbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: 

This systematic review aims to explore the conceptualization of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in China. With HRQoL influenced by both modern medicine (MM) and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the study seeks to identify differences and common ground between the frameworks of MM and TCM as defined in the literature. 

Method: 

A systematic literature search was conducted across three Chinese databases and four English databases. The data was extracted including title, author(s), publication year, region, aim, method, category, and result. When sorting data, we broke down the HRQoL frameworks into concepts, domains and facets, with a focus on overlapped facets between the frameworks of MM and TCM. Results: A total of 31 studies were included. In the perspective of TCM, HRQoL is centered around three key 'concepts': (1) 'xingshentongyi' (unity of body and spirit), (2) 'tianrenheyi' (harmony between man and nature), and (3) 'qiqing' (seven emotional forms). In contrast, the MM framework comprises 'physical,' 'mental,' 'social,' and 'environment' domains. Out of the 59 unique facets identified, 28 are common to both TCM and MM, 9 specific to TCM, and 22 specific to MM. 'Appetite,' 'sleep,' and 'energy' are the most frequently mentioned facets in both frameworks. 

Conclusion: 

The concept of HRQoL in China encompasses frameworks rooted in both TCM and MM. While TCM and MM have distinct healthcare approaches, they share overlapping domains when measuring HRQoL through questionnaires. Furthermore, TCM and MM demonstrate considerable convergence in terms of HRQoL facets, showing the potential for utilizing HRQoL instruments across different cultural settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1795-1806
Number of pages12
JournalQuality of Life Research
Volume33
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2024

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© The Author(s) 2024.

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