Effect of a traditional Chinese medicine course for undergraduate nursing students: A pre-/post-test study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Traditional Chinese medicine is widely used for treating aging-related chronic conditions. Therefore, designing a TCM theoretical course for undergraduate nursing students will be a preparation for further clinical practice in TCM in the future.


To identify the effect of a TCM course designed for undergraduate nursing students on understanding four key parts of TCM theories.


A quasi-experimental pre- and post-test study.


A university in China during the 2016 fall semester.


A convenience sample of 47 senior undergraduate nursing students.


Each pair of pre- and post-tests were conducted before and after one lecture. Four pairs pre-/post-tests were conducted during lectures of fundamental theories, TCM diagnostic principles, herb properties, and treatment principles. Four questionnaires including ten multiple-choice questions were used for pre-/post-tests. Stata 14.0 was used for descriptive analysis and paired t-tests.


Mean scores of post-tests were significantly higher than those of pre-tests (p < 0.001). Among pre-tests, the lowest correctness rates of key contents in the four lectures were the pathological relation of five elements (31.25%), the differentiation of symptoms for a case analysis (16.67%), the compatibility relation (12.77%), and the role of Monarch herbs (also called as "Principal herbs") and the characteristics of herbal pills (29.79%), separately; the highest were the nature of Yin-Yang (87.50%), identifying symptoms for a specific syndrome (85.42%), the herb usage (95.74%), and the principle of prescription composition (85.11%), separately. TCM knowledge in relation of nature of Yin-Yang and Five Elements and basic principles of TCM knowledge gained more increased correctness rates than that related to pathological-based and differentiation of symptoms.


The TCM course has a positive effect to enhance TCM knowledge of undergraduate nursing students. The students were easier to gain TCM fundamental knowledge and principles than pathological based knowledge and differentiation of symptoms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Cai, Y; Boyd, DL

Published Date

  • November 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 70 /

Start / End Page

  • 87 - 93

PubMed ID

  • 30170153

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-2793

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0260-6917

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.nedt.2018.08.013


  • eng