The traditional medicine patterns in GERD patients at University Medical Center HCMC: a cross-sectional survey

Original Research


Background: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a prevalent condition with growing interest in traditional medicine (TM) treatment. However, there is a dearth of TM epidemiological data on GERD in Vietnam. This study aimed to examine the prevalence of TM patterns and evaluate their association with the severity of GERD to lay the groundwork for clinical practice.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the University Medical Center Ho Chi Minh City, from December 2021 to May 2022. GERD patients diagnosed by gastroenterologists were enrolled in the survey. The PIGERD tool was used to classify patients into TM patterns. Demographic characteristics and GERD questionnaire (GERDQ) scores were also collected. Statistical analyses were performed to determine the proportion of each TM pattern and the distribution of GERDQ scores within each pattern.

Results: Among the 384 surveyed GERD patients, the Liver qi invading Stomach (LQIS) pattern had the highest proportion (49.2%), followed by Spleen-Stomach weakness (24.7%), Spleen-Stomach dampness-heat (13.3%), and Stomach yin deficiency (12.8%). The LQIS pattern also exhibited the highest GERDQ score (median [interquartile range] of 9 [7, 10]), which significantly differed from the other patterns (p=0.0001). The remaining three patterns had lower GERDQ scores, and the differences were not statistically significant (p>0.05).

Conclusions: LQIS pattern was the most prevalent among GERD patients and had the highest severity. Further multicenter studies are recommended to confirm these findings.

Graphical abstract