Author(s): Sze FK, Wong E, Yi X, Woo J
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: A significant number of patients remain severely disabled after stroke despite rehabilitation with standard treatment modalities. Acupuncture has been reported as an alternative modality. This study aims to examine whether acupuncture has additional value to standard poststroke motor rehabilitation. METHODS: A prospective randomized controlled trial (RCT) was carried out in a stroke rehabilitation unit in Hong Kong. One hundred six Chinese patients with moderate or severe functional impairment were included at days 3 to 15 after acute stroke. They were stratified into the moderate and the severe groups before randomization into the control arm receiving standard modalities of treatment, which included physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, and skilled medical and nursing care, and the intervention arm receiving in addition traditional Chinese manual acupuncture. A mean of 35 acupuncture sessions on 10 main acupoints were performed over a 10-week period. Outcome measures included Fugl-Meyer assessment, Barthel Index, and Functional Independence Measure, respectively, at weeks 0, 5, and 10, performed by blinded assessors. RESULTS: At baseline, patients in each arm were comparable in all important prognostic characteristics. No statistically significant differences were observed between the 2 arms for any of the outcome measures at week 10 or outcome changes over time. CONCLUSIONS: Traditional Chinese manual acupuncture on the body has no additional value to standard poststroke motor rehabilitation.
This article was published in Stroke
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation