Focus Group on Traditional Chinese Medicine - Western Medicine Interactions
We are inviting pharmacists interested in Traditional Chinese Medicine – Western Medicine interactions and potential adverse effects to participate in a focus group discussion.
The use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is increasingly prevalent in Canada, and self-medication with TCM and concurrent usage with Western medicine are also common. While taking TCM carries recognized risk of adverse effects on their own, their interactions with Western medicine can further generate additional adverse effects but are largely underestimated and undetected due to under-reporting. This is especially true in Canada and other Western countries where TCM is regulated as natural products.
Currently in Canada, surveillance of TCM is by-and-large ineffective in detecting TCM-Western medicine adverse interactions. We are initiating a new study to develop a Canadian surveillance system for TCM usage that involves both health professionals and patients so as to increase detection of potential adverse reactions and improve safety.
The new study under Dr. Kendall Ho within UBC’s Faculty of Medicine, Digital Emergency Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, will focus on this issue. We believe learning more about Traditional Chinese Medicine – Western Medicine interactions is important to help protect patient safety.
As a first step, we will carry out surveys and focus groups among health care providers and patients to identify desirable features of such a surveillance system as important ground work. As pharmacists have the front-line contact with patients and are the most crucial for patients’ medication safety, we would like to recruit 25 pharmacists to participate in one 90-minute focus group. In this focus group, participants will be asked to share their experience and ideas in response to the following topics:
- patients’ TCM usage and experience of TCM side effects/TCM prescription
- ideas on the necessity of a surveillance/communication system
- input on preferred communication
- educational features of a TCM surveillance system.
The information you provide through the focus group or survey will be kept confidential, and will only be accessible to research members in this project.
We hope to hear from you through the focus group! Participants will receive a small token of appreciation.
To learn more about the study, and participate in a focus group or survey, please contact Please contact Jingfei Zhang, UBC Med Student and research lead for the project, at 604-318-0501 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Kendall Ho, MD, FRCPC
Director, Digital Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, UBC.
Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Jingfei Zhang, PhD.
Second year MD student, Faculty of Medicine, UBC