Anxiety Symptoms, Depressive Symptoms, and Traditional Chinese Medicine Use in U.S. Chinese Older Adults

Ying Yu Chao, Eunhea You, Yu Ping Chang, Xin Qi Dong

Publication Date: 08/01/2020

This study examined the association between anxiety symptoms, depressive symptoms, and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) use among U.S. Chinese older adults. Data was obtained from the Population Study of Chinese Elderly in Chicago (N = 3157; mean age = 72.8). Anxiety symptoms were assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS‐A). Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). TCM modalities included herbal products, acupuncture, massage therapy, Taichi, and other types of TCM. Although not significant, there was a trend indicating that higher levels of anxiety symptoms showed a higher rate of acupuncture use and massage therapy. Older Chinese Americans with depressive symptoms were more likely to use acupuncture and massage therapy; and they were less likely to use other TCM. Future research is needed to identify reasons for TCM use; and how these factors mediate or moderate the relationship between psychiatric symptoms and TCM use.