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Patient experiences of using Chinese herbal medicine for psoriasis vulgaris and chronic urticaria: a qualitative study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 18:05 authored by Coyle, ME, Yu, JJ, Zhang, AL, Jones, L, Xue, CC, Lu, C
Background: Psoriasis vulgaris and chronic urticaria are common skin conditions with a significant health burden. Achieving long-term control remains a challenge, and some patients choose Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) to meet this need. Little is known about the motivators and experiences of using CHM for these skin conditions.

Objectives: To determine the motivators for choosing CHM, and experience of using CHM for psoriasis vulgaris and chronic urticaria.

Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with participants who had previously used CHM for these conditions. Interviews were transcribed for data analysis.

Results: Twenty participants completed the interviews in Guangzhou (n = 16), China, and Melbourne (n = 4), Australia. Motivators included wanting an alternative to conventional medicine, beliefs about CHM and previous experience. Participants expected that CHM would be safer and could prevent relapse; this expectation was met for some participants. Preparing CHM decoctions was onerous, and CHM granules were more convenient.

Conclusion: Beliefs, previous experience of using CHM, desire to prevent relapse, and safety are important motivators for choosing CHM in people with psoriasis vulgaris and chronic urticaria. Further clinical evidence is required to enable patients to make informed clinical decisions. Patient preferences should be considered in the context of available evidence when prescribing CHM.


Publication title

Journal of Dermatological Treatment










School of Nursing


Taylor & Francis

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)

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