The use of conventional and complementary therapies for insomnia among Hong Kong Chinese: A telephone survey

Wing Fai Yeung, Ka Fai Chung, Kam Ping Yung, Fiona Yan Yee Ho, Lai Ming Ho, Yee Man Yu, Chi Wa Kwok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the prevalence and utilization pattern of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for insomnia in Hong Kong. Methods: Respondents were selected from the general population and interviewed by telephone Their sleep was assessed by a Chinese version of the Brief Insomnia Questionnaire (BIQ) and CAM use by a checklist. Prevalence findings were weighted by the BIQ insomnia diagnosis, age, and sex. Results: 402 respondents completed the survey. The population-weighted prevalence of any treatment in the past 12 months was 21.3%, any CAM use at 12.3%, any conventional treatment at 6.5%, and alcohol use at 1.6%; however, 46.6% of the BIQ insomnia cases did not seek treatment. The most commonly used CAM modalities was Chinese herbal medicine (7.9%), followed by acupuncture (1.7%) and Western herbal products (1.7%). Most CAM therapies were used infrequently and without consultation of healthcare professionals. Only BIQ insomnia diagnosis and being female were found predictive of CAM use. Conclusions: Apart from Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture, the use of conventional treatments, CAM, and alcohol for trouble sleeping was all less common in Hong Kong. Public education on the consequences of insomnia and various treatment modalities is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-902
Number of pages9
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative
  • CAM
  • Chinese
  • Complementary
  • Conventional medicine
  • Insomnia
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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