An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.
Yu-Whuei Hu, PhD
Li-Shan Huang, PhD
Eric J. Yeh, PhD
Mai He, MD, PhD
Falun Gong (FLG) is a practice of mind and body focusing on moral character improvement that includes meditative exercises. In this study, we explored perceived health status, healthcare resource utilization, and related factors among Taiwanese FLG practitioners, compared to themselves before practicing FLG, and also to the general Taiwanese norm, as reported by the 2001 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
This cross-sectional study was based on a voluntary, paper-based survey conducted from October 2002 to February 2003 using the same Taiwanese SF-36 instrument employed by the NHIS. Primary outcomes included 8 SF-36 domain scores and the number of outpatient visits. One-sample t-tests, oneway ANOVA, and multivariate linear regression analyses were used.
The response rate was 75.6% (1210/1600). Compared to the norm, the study cohort had significantly higher scores in 6 of 8 SF-36 domains across sex and age (p < .05). Among those with chronic diseases, 70% to 89% reported that their conditions were improved or cured. Additionally, 74.2% and 79.2% participants stopped drinking alcohol and quit smoking; 62.7% reported decreased outpatient visits (mean before = 11.96; mean after = 5.87; norm = 14.4).
In this cohort, FLG participants had higher perceived health scores than the population norm and reduced outpatient visits than before practice.