Background. This study aims to analyze the utilization patterns of patients with lung cancer stratified by surgery status. Methods. A retrospective cohort study was conducted from 1996 to 2010 by using the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database 2005. Results. Among the 7,677 lung cancer patients, 230 (31.17%) and 1,826 (26.32%) who have and have not undergone surgery have used TCM outpatient services, respectively. For lung cancer patients who have not undergone surgery, patients who are aged 70 years and older, males, occupational members, and farmers and fishermen are less likely to avail of TCM services. For lung cancer patients who have undergone surgery, the likelihood of TCM users is higher in residents who used TCM one year prior to lung cancer diagnosis and in patients with insurance amounts ranging from >= NT$60,000. The total amount paid per visit for WM is higher than that for one year of TCM outpatient care before and after lung cancer diagnosis. Conclusion. The factors associated with TCM use varied according to surgery status. The costs of insurance covering TCM were consistently lower than those covering WM for lung cancer patients. These findings would be useful for health policy makers who are considering TCM and WM integration.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, V.2013