Medical Technology and Patients’ Experience: Poliomyelitis in Taiwan during the 1950s and 1960s

Project: National Science and Technology CouncilNational Science and Technology Council Academic Grants

Project Details


Poliomyelitis is a common disease in Taiwan during the 1950s and 1960s. Few would suffer paralysis and may become permanently disabled. At that time, some religious hospitals started to be concerned about this situation: they tried to obtain vaccines for poliomyelitis, established rehabilitation center and even opened factories for braces through the unofficial international aids. In addition, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek fostered Cheng Hsin General Hospital with the help of the US aid, the promotion helped Cheng Hsin General Hospital become the most important rehabilitation center for poliomyelitis in Taiwan. This research is based on my previous research “Foreign Aid and Transformation of Medicine and Public Health after the WWⅡ in Taiwan“ and “A preliminary analysis of the history of poliomyelitis in Taiwan during 1950s to 1960s”. This study will focus on poliomyelitis rehabilitation technology, orthopedics surgery , establishment of medical institutions, and the experience of poliomyelitis patients. This research will examine the issues by the viewpoint of science, technology and society, using historical materials to help further explore poliomyelitis in Taiwan during 1950s and 1960s. This research not only regard the patients as “the users of technology”, but “the designers of technology” who involved actively. Therefore, through this project, I would like to discuss the rehabilitation of poliomyelitis, medical and technical issues, and the patients’ experience, and to rethink the influence of poliomyelitis on the medical treatment and techniques, as well as the society.

Project IDs

Project ID:PE10007-0449
External Project ID:NSC100-2410-H182-011
Effective start/end date01/08/1131/07/12


  • poliomyelitis
  • rehabilitation
  • patient experience
  • assistive device


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