A Systematic Literature Review of the Research on Traditional Medicine Policy

Wayu Eko Yudiatmaja, Imam Yudhi Prastya, Selvi Diana Meilinda, Tri Samnuzulsari


The primary objective of this study is to explore the past and recent research in traditional medicine policy published by scholarly journals. From a series of reputable databases, including BMC, Cambridge, Elsevier, JSTOR, Sage, Science Direct, Springer, Taylor and Francis, and Wiley, one hundred fifty articles were collected for further analysis. Using a systematic literature review, evidence from this work shows that the predominance of traditional medicine policy research is developed from theory and empirical studies, using random sampling and qualitative analysis. There are a wide variety of subject matters studied, but the research commonly focuses on Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The future research directions in this area are discussed to address various theoretical, methodological, and empirical gaps from the prior research. This study positively contributes to our understanding of the development and trends of traditional medicine policy.


literature review, systematic literature review, traditional medicine policy

Full Text:



Birkland, T. A. (2016). An introduction to the policy process: Theories, concepts, and models of public policy making (4th ed.). Routledge.

Boell, S. K., & Cecez-Kecmanovic, D. (2010). Literature reviews and the hermeneutic circle. Australian Academic and Research Libraries, 41(2), 129–144.

Cao, H., Han, M., Li, X., Dong, S., Shang, Y., Wang, Q., Xu, S., & Liu, J. (2010). Clinical research evidence of cupping therapy in China: A systematic literature review. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 10(1), 1–10.

Cardini, F., Wade, C., Regalia, A. L., Gui, S., Li, W., Raschetti, R., & Kronenberg, F. (2006). Clinical research in traditional medicine: Priorities and methods. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 14(4), 282–287.

Chang, H., Wallis, M., & Tiralongo, E. (2007). Use of complementary and alternative medicine among people living with diabetes: Literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 58(4), 307–319.

Checkland, P. (1989). Soft systems methodology. Human Systems Management, 8(4), 273–289.

Checkland, P., & Poulter, J. (2010). Soft systems methodology. In M. Reynolds & S. Holwell (Eds.), Systems approaches to managing change: A practical guide (pp. 191–242). Springer.

Cho, B.-H. (2000). The politics of herbal drugs in Korea. Social Science and Medicine, 51(4), 505–509.

Cleary, M., Hayter, M., & Horsfall, J. (2014). Data collection and sampling in qualitative research: Does size matter? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(3), 473–475.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Mapping the field of mixed methods research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 3(2), 95–108.

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Sage.

Creswell, J. W., & Tashakkori, A. (2007). Differing perspectives on mixed research methods. Journal of Mixed Research Methods, 1(4), 303–308.

Cronin, P., Ryan, F., & Coughlan, M. (2008). Undertaking a literature review: A step-by-step approach. British Journal of Nursing, 17(1), 1–6.

Eardley, S., Bishop, F. L., Prescott, P., Cardini, F., Brinkhaus, B., Santos-Rey, K., Vas, J., von Ammon, K., Hegyi, G., Dragan, S., Uehleke, B., Fønnebø, V., & Lewith, G. (2012). A systematic literature review of complementary and alternative medicine prevalence in EU. Forschende Komplementarmedizin, 19(Suppl 2), 18–28.

Elfahmi, Woerdenbag, H. J., & Kayser, O. (2014). Jamu: Indonesian traditional herbal medicine towards rational phytopharmacological use. Journal of Herbal Medicine, 4(2), 51–73.

Elo, S., & Kyngäs, H. (2008). The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(1), 107–115.

Fink, A. (2014). Conducting research literature reviews: From the internet to paper (4th Ed.). Sage.

Fitzpatrick, J., Goggin, M., Heikkila, T., Klingner, D., Machado, J., & Martell, C. (2011). A new look at comparative public administration: Trends in research and an agenda for the future. Public Administration Review, 71(6), 821–830.

Franceschini, F., Maisano, D., & Mastrogiacomo, L. (2016). Empirical analysis and classification of database errors in Scopus and Web of Science. Journal of Informetrics, 10(4), 933–953.

Gavriilidis, G., & Östergren, P.-O. (2012). Evaluating a traditional medicine policy in South Africa: Phase 1 development of a policy assessment tool. Global Health Action, 5(1), 1–11.

Greene, J. C., Caracelli, V. J., & Graham, W. F. (1989). Toward a conceptual framework for mixed-method evaluation designs. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 11(3), 255–274.

Guan, X., Yang, M., Man, C., Tian, Y., & Shi, L. (2018). The effect of the implementation of low price medicine policy on medicine price in China: A retrospective study. International Journal of Health Planning and Management, 33(3), e798–e806.

Hall, H. G., McKenna, L. G., & Griffiths, D. L. (2012). Midwives’ support for complementary and alternative medicine: A literature review. Women and Birth, 25(1), 4–12.

Hill, M. (2014). The public policy process (6th ed.). Routledge.

Howlett, M., & Ramesh, M. (1995). Studying public policy: Policy cycles and policy subsystems. Oxford University Press.

Hsieh, H.-F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qualitative Health Research, 15(9), 1277–1288.

Hunter, J., Leach, M., Braun, L., & Bensoussan, A. (2017). An interpretive review of consensus statements on clinical guideline development and their application in the field of traditional and complementary medicine. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 17, 1–11.

Josyula, K. L., Sheikh, K., Nambiar, D., Narayan, V. V., Sathyanarayana, T. N., & Porter, J. D. H. (2016). “Getting the water-carrier to light the lamps”: Discrepant role perceptions of traditional, complementary, and alternative medical practitioners in government health facilities in India. Social Science and Medicine, 166, 214–222.

Kamsu-Foguem, B., & Foguem, C. (2014). Adverse drug reactions in some African herbal medicine: Literature review and stakeholders’ interview. Integrative Medicine Research, 3(3), 126–132.

Kim, J. (2009). Transcultural medicine: A multi-sited ethnography on the scientific-industrial networking of Korean medicine. Medical Anthropology, 28(1), 31–64.

Konisky, D. M., & Teodoro, M. P. (2016). When governments regulate governments. American Journal of Political Science, 60(3), 559–574. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps

Langwick, S. A. (2015). Partial publics: The political promise of traditional medicine in Africa. Current Anthropology, 56(4), 493–514.

Li, X., Yang, G., Li, X., Zhang, Y., Yang, J., Chang, J., Sun, X., Zhou, X., Guo, Y., Xu, Y., Liu, J., & Bensoussan, A. (2013). Traditional Chinese medicine in cancer care: A review of controlled clinical studies published in Chinese. Plos One, 8(4), 1–11.

Liu, J., Li, X., Liu, J., Ma, L., Li, X., & Fønnebø, V. (2011). Traditional chinese medicine in cancer care: A review of case reports published in Chinese literature. Forschende Komplementarmedizin, 18(5), 257–263.

Lubega, M., Nsabagasani, X., Tumwesigye, N. M., Wabwire-Mangen, F., Ekström, A. M., Pariyo, G., & Peterson, S. (2010). Policy and practice, lost in transition: Reasons for high drop-out from pre-antiretroviral care in a resource-poor setting of eastern Uganda. Health Policy, 95(2–3), 153–158.

Maani, K. E., & Maharaj, V. (2004). Links between systems thinking and complex decision making. System Dynamics Review, 20(1), 21–48.

Macfarlane, J., & Alpers, M. (2010). National policy for an integrated health system and local implementation: The case of Papua New Guinea and the Nasioi. Human Organization, 69(4), 387–397.

Maroyi, A. (2013). Traditional use of medicinal plants in south-central Zimbabwe: Review and perspectives. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 9, 1–18.

North, D. C. (1990). Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge University Press.

Oliver, S. J. (2013). The role of traditional medicine practice in primary health care within Aboriginal Australia: A review of the literature. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, 9, 1–8.

Ostrom, E. (2011). Background on the institutional analysis and development framework. Policy Studies Journal, 39(1), 7–27.

Palinkas, L. A., Aarons, G. A., Horwitz, S., Chamberlain, P., Hurlburt, M., & Landsverk, J. (2011). Mixed method designs in implementation research. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 38(1), 44–53.

Park, H.-L., Lee, H.-S., Shin, B.-C., Liu, J.-P., Shang, Q., Yamashita, H., & Lim, B. (2012). Traditional medicine in China, Korea, and Japan: A brief introduction and comparison. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 1–9.

Puks, R. (2016). Software tools for supporting literature reviews: An overview and a case study. Master Thesis in Tallinn University.

Riswan, S., & Sangat-Roemantyo, H. (2002). Jamu as traditional medicine in Java, Indonesia. South Pacific Study, 23(1), 1–10.

Robinson, M. M., & Zhang, X. (2011). Traditional medicines: Global situation, issues and challenges. In The world medicines situation 2011 (Issue 3rd Edition).

Sabatier, P. A. (1991). Political science and public policy. PS: Political Science and Politics, 24(2), 144–157.

Sackey, E. K. A., & Kasilo, O. M. J. (2010). Intellectual property approaches to the protection of traditional knowledge in the African region. African Health Monitor, 14, 89–102.

Saito, H. (2000). Regulation of herbal medicines in Japan. Pharmacological Research, 41(5), 515–519.

Samnuzulsari, T., Edison, E., & Yudiatmaja, W. E. (2019). From popular to partisan public sphere: The political change of the coffee shops in Kepulauan Riau. Komunitas: International Journal of Indonesian Society and Culture, 11(1), 119–128.

Schulz, V., Hänsel, R., Blumenthal, M., & Tyler, V. E. (2004). Rational phytotherapy: A reference guide for physicians and pharmacists. In Rational Phytotherapy (5th ed.). Springer-Verlag.

Shirley, M. M. (2008). Institutions and development. Edward Elgar.

Sobiecki, J.-F. (2014). The intersection of culture and science in South African traditional medicine. Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 14(1), 1–10.

Son, A. H. K. (1999). Modernization of medical care in Korea (1876-1990). Social Science and Medicine, 49(4), 543–550.

Takayama, S., Kaneko, S., Numata, T., Kamiya, T., Arita, R., Saito, N., Kikuchi, A., Ohsawa, M., Kohayagawa, Y., & Ishii, T. (2017). Literature review: Herbal medicine treatment after large-scale disasters. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 45(7), 1345–1364.

Timmermans, K. (2003). Intellectual property rights and traditional medicine: Policy dilemmas at the interface. Social Science and Medicine, 57(4), 745–756.

Wachtel-Galor, S., & Benzie, I. F. F. (2011). Herbal medicine: An introduction to its history, usage, regulation, current trends, and research needs. In I. F. F. Benzie & S. Wachtel-Galor (Eds.), Herbal medicine: Biomolecula and clinical aspects (2nd ed., pp. 1–10). CRC Press.

Wang, W., & Zhang, T. (2017). Integration of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine in the era of precision medicine. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 15(1), 1–7.

Webster, J., & Watson, R. T. (2012). Analyzing the past to prepare for the future: Writing a review. Management Information Systems Quarterly, 26(2), xiii–xxiii.

Weible, C. M. (2014). Introducing the scope and focus of policy process research and theory. In P. A. Sabatier & C. M. Weible (Eds.), Theories of the policy process (pp. 3–24). Westview Press.

Weimer, D. L. (2008). Theories of and in the policy process. Policy Studies Journal, 36(4), 489–495.

Williamson, J., Ramirez, R., & Wingfield, T. (2015). Health, healthcare access, and use of traditional versus modern medicine in remote Peruvian Amazon communities: A descriptive study of knowledge, attitudes, and practices. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 92(4), 857–864.

World Health Organization. (2019). WHO global report on traditional and complementary medicine 2019. World Health Organization.

Yudiatmaja, W. E. (2012). Dinamika administrasi negara kontemporer: Konsep dan isu. Yogyakarta: Capiya Publishing.

Yudiatmaja, W. E. (2016). Implementasi dan evaluasi kebijakan publik. Tanjungpinang: UMRAH Press.

Yudiatmaja, W. E., Alfiandri, A., & Hidayat, R. (2017). Far from fire: The service delivery quality gap plaguing Indonesian Ports. JKAP (Jurnal Kebijakan Dan Administrasi Publik), 21(1), 31–42.

Yudiatmaja, W. E., Edison, E., & Samnuzulsari, T. (2018). Factors affecting employees’ religiosity at the public workplace in Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia. Otoritas: Jurnal Ilmu Pemerintahan, 8(2), 143–158.

Yudiatmaja, W. E., Samnuzulsari, T., Suyito, S., & Yudithia, Y. (2020). Transforming institutional design in addressing sludge oil in Bintan seawater, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 423(1).

Yudiatmaja, W. E., Yudithia, Y., Samnuzulsari, T., & Suyito, S. (2020). An institutional analysis of the trans-national marine waste: A case study of sludge oil in Bintan seawater, Kepulauan Riau, Indonesia. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 423(1).

Yudiatmaja, W. E., Yudithia, Y., Samnuzulsari, T., Suyito, S., & Edison, E. (2020). Social capital of local communities in the water resources management: An insight from Kepulauan Riau. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 771(1).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29313/mimbar.v37i1.6264


  • There are currently no refbacks.

MIMBAR : Jurnal Sosial dan Pembangunan is licensed under  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License