Kwon, Kim, Eom, Park, Kim, Park, and Kim: Survey of Korean Medicine Military Doctors for Establishing Clinical Evidence of Korean Medicine Treatment in Military Medical Service

Abstract

Objectives

The purpose of this study was to investigate the status of Korean medicine treatment, and to analyze problems and demands to provide basic data on Korean medicine in military medical services.

Methods

This survey was completed by 30 volunteer Korean medicine military doctors on service via a web-based questionnaire system. The questionnaire was developed through in-depth interviews with Korean medicine military doctors and consisted of general information on the subject, overall characteristics of the medical environment, current status of Korean medicine care in each workplace, problems and needs, and related clinical evidence and education.

Results

Korean medicine military doctors administered acupuncture treatment most frequently in clinical practice. The most common complaints were related to musculoskeletal diseases, which accounted for 86.5% of all diseases, including those of the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. Most of the problems in Korean medicine care were pointed out as being due to a lack of awareness of Korean medicine in the military. Many doctors were aware that it is necessary to establish clinical evidence for Korean medicine in the military, and were also positive about the possibility of performing clinical research in the military, but the experience of actual participation in clinical research or related education was uncommon.

Conclusions

Korean medicine military treatment differs from private medical care due to the specificity of each workplace and the military medical system. In the future, it will be necessary to establish an appropriate Korean medicine treatment model in the military suitable for these characteristics and strategic plans for clinical evidence.

Fig. 1
Korean medicine treatment available in workplace and the most frequent treatment
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Fig. 2
The most frequent outpatient disease
jkm-38-3-73f2.gif
Fig. 3
Korean medicine treatment of the frequent outpatient disease
jkm-38-3-73f3.gif
Fig. 4
Disease priority in military medical service
jkm-38-3-73f4.gif
Table 1
The Type and Region of Workplace
Hospital Division Regiment/Battalion Etc Total
Seoul 1(3.3%) 1(3.3%) 1(3.3%) 4(13.3%) 7(23.3%)
Gyeonggi-do 0(0.0%) 8(26.7%) 2(6.7%) 0(0.0%) 10(33.3%)
Gangwon-do 1(3.3%) 3(10.0%) 1(3.3%) 1(3.3%) 6(20.0%)
Etc 1(3.3%) 2(6.7%) 1(3.3%) 3(10.0%) 7(23.3%)
Total 3(10.0%) 14(46.7%) 5(16.7%) 8(26.7%) 30(100.0%)
Table 2
The Specialty and Number of Military Doctors
Hospital Division Regiment/Battalion Etc Total
Internal medicine 3(100.0%)/3.7 14(100.0%)/1.4 2(40.0%)/0.8 5(62.5%)/0.8 24(80.0%)/1.3
Surgery 3(100.0%)/1.3 4(28.6%)/0.3 1(20.0%)/0.4 2(25.0%)/0.4 10(33.3%)/0.4
Orthopedic surgery 3(100.0%)/2.7 13(92.9%)/1.0 4(80.0%)/0.8 7(87.5%)/1.0 27(90.0%)/1.1
Neurosurgery 2(66.7%)/1.0 2(14.3%)/0.1 0(0.0%)/0.0 1(12.5%)/0.1 5(16.7%)/0.2
Psychiatry 1(33.3%)/0.7 12(85.7%)/0.9 0(0.0%)/0.0 1(12.5%)/0.1 14(46.7%)/0.5
Otolaryngology 3(100.0%)/1.7 5(35.7%)/0.4 1(20.0%)/0.2 2(25.0%)/0.3 11(36.7%)/0.4
Dermatology 3(100.0%)/1.0 4(28.6%)/0.3 1(20.0%)/0.2 1(12.5%)/0.1 9(30.0%)/0.3
Dentistry 3(100.0%)/3.7 13(92.9%)/2.3 1(20.0%)/0.6 3(37.5%)/0.6 20(66.7%)/1.7
Other 2(66.7%)/1.0 2(14.3)/0.1 2(40.0%)/1.0 3(37.5%)/1.3 9(30.0%)/0.7
Table 3
The Equipments and Supplies Available in Workplace
Hospital Division Regiment/Battalion Etc Total
X-ray 3(100.0%) 14(100.0%) 3(60.0%) 5(62.5%) 25(83.3%)
CT 2(66.7%) 1(7.1%) 0(0.0%) 0(0.0%) 3(10.0%)
MRI 2(66.7%) 0(0.0%) 0(0.0%) 0(0.0%) 2(6.7%)
Laboratory test 3(100%) 11(78.6%) 1(20.0%) 1(12.5%) 16(53.3%)
Acupuncture 3(100.0%) 14(100.0%) 5(100.0%) 8(100.0%) 30(100.0%)
EA 3(100.0%) 6(42.9%) 4(80.0%) 2(25.0%) 15(50.0%)
Pharmacopuncture 2(66.7%) 3(21.4%) 2(40.0%) 1(12.5%) 8(26.7%)
Moxibustion 3(100.0%) 12(85.7%) 5(100.0%) 5(62.5%) 25(83.3%)
Cupping 3(100.0%) 14(100.0%) 5(100.0%) 6(75.0%) 28(93.3%)
Taping 2(66.7%) 9(64.3%) 5(100.0%) 6(75.0%) 22(73.3%)
Physical therapy 3(100.0%) 14(100.0%) 3(60.0%) 5(62.5%) 25(83.3%)
Chuna bed 3(100.0%) 0(0.0%) 1(20.0%) 2(25.0%) 6(20.0%)
Herbal medicine 3(100.0%) 14(100.0%) 4(80.0%) 7(87.5%) 28(93.3%)
Etc 1(33.3%) 1(7.1%) 2(40.0%) 0(0.0%) 4(13.3%)

CT; Computed Tomography, MRI; Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Electroacupuncture; EA

Table 4
Distribution of Disease Categories for Korean Medicine Visit in Military Medicine
Hospital Division Regiment/Battalion Etc Total
Musculoskeletal 80.0% 88.8% 84.0% 86.3% 86.5%
Digestive 6.0% 3.6% 4.4% 4.6% 4.2%
Respiratory 5.0% 3.8% 7.0% 4.5% 4.6%
Neurological 8.3% 2.9% 4.6% 2.7% 3.7%
Etc 0.7% 0.9% 0.0% 1.9% 0.9%
Table 5
Type of Musculoskeletal Disorders
Hospital Division Regiment/Battalion Etc Total
Neck 25.0% 14.9% 18.0% 15.7% 16.7%
Shoulder 18.3% 9.4% 15.0% 14.3% 12.5%
Lowback 33.3% 49.1% 26.0% 22.1% 37.0%
Knee 6.7% 10.0% 13.0% 14.3% 11.2%
Ankle 15.0% 15.7% 26.0% 31.4% 21.2%
Etc 1.7% 0.9% 2.0% 2.1% 1.4%
Table 6
Problems of Korean Medicine Military Medical Service
Hospital Division Regiment/Battalion Etc Total
The location and condition of workplaces 33.3% 21.4% 20.0% 25.0% 23.3%
Process of treatment, transfer, and approval system 0.0% 14.3% 0.0% 12.5% 10.0%
Facilities and budget 33.3% 42.9% 60.0% 75.0% 53.3%
Lack of recognition of Korean medicine 33.3% 71.4% 60.0% 62.5% 63.3%
Table 7
Preference of Korean Medicine Treatment
Very low Low Medium High Very high
Hospital 0(0.0%) 1(33.3%) 0(0.0%) 0(0.0%) 2(66.7%)
Division 2(14.3%) 4(28.6%) 1(7.1%) 6(42.9%) 1(7.1%)
Regiment/Battalion 0(0.0%) 0(0.0%) 1(20.0%) 4(80.0%) 0(0.0%)
Etc 1(12.5%) 3(37.5%) 2(25.0%) 2(25.0%) 0(0.0%)

Acu/Mox 0(0.0%) 6(35.3%) 3(17.6%) 7(41.2%) 1(5.9%)
Internal 1(14.3%) 1(14.3%) 1(14.3%) 3(42.9%) 1(14.3%)
Etc 2(33.3%) 1(16.7%) 0(0.0%) 2(33.3%) 1(16.7%)

Seoul 0(0.0%) 1(14.3%) 2(28.6%) 4(57.1%) 0(0.0%)
Gyeonggi-do 1(10.0%) 1(10.0%) 1(10.0%) 6(60.0%) 1(10.0%)
Gangwon-do 0(0.0%) 3(50.0%) 0(0.0%) 2(33.3%) 1(16.7%)
Etc 2(28.6%) 3(42.9%) 1(14.3%) 0(0.0%) 1(14.3%)

First-year 0(0.0%) 1(16.7%) 1(16.7%) 3(50.0%) 1(16.7%)
Second-year 1(16.7%) 3(50.0%) 1(16.7%) 1(16.7%) 0(0.0%)
Third-year 2(13.3%) 4(26.7%) 1(6.7%) 8(53.3%) 0(0.0%)
Long-service 0(0.0%) 0(0.0%) 1(33.3%) 0(0.0%) 2(66.7%)

Total 3(10.0%) 8(26.7%) 4(13.3%) 12(40.0%) 3(10.0%)
Table 8
Necessity of Establishing Clinical Evidence of Korean Medicine Treatment in Military Medical Service
Clinical evidence Manual Education
None 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Little 0.0% 6.9% 3.3%
Medium 27.6% 17.2% 43.3%
Necessary 34.5% 48.3% 43.3%
Very necessary 37.9% 27.6% 10.0%
Average likert score 4.10 3.97 3.60

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