Authors: Le Thi Ngoc Phuc and Mark Stephan Felix

Research Article

Year: 2020, Volume 20 Number 4

Page: 136–149


The use of traditional medicines is commonplace among the elderly population. With the growth of this population, a scoping review to ascertain the beliefs that influence decisions to use traditional/complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) was undertaken. This scoping review focused on identifying the beliefs of members of the elderly population regarding TCAM, especially in comparison with western medicine. The researchers used the methodological framework for a scoping review by Arksey and O’Malley (2005). The main steps of this scoping review included (a) searching for relevant studies, (b) selecting studies based on specific inclusion criteria, (c) extracting data into a charting table, and (d) collating, synthesizing, and reporting the results. However, the process was not linear but iterative. Each stage was moved flexibly, and steps were repeated when needed to ensure that the existing literature was covered fully. The findings of the scoping review are divided into the characteristics and nature of the articles in the scoping review and the beliefs of the elderly that influence their use of TCAM; the latter may be divided broadly into traditional, cultural, social, and economic beliefs. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research on the influences of beliefs of the elderly on the use of TCAM are elaborated upon.

Keywords: Elderly, beliefs, traditional medicine, alternative medicine, scoping review