Research: SZE and colleagues, De

Listed in Issue 86


SZE and colleagues, Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Shatin Hospital, N.T. Hong Kong, conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of acupuncture in motor recovery after stroke .


Acupuncture may be a promising treatment for post-stroke paralysis . This meta-analysis assesses the efficacy of acupuncture with and without stroke rehabilitation .


Randomized controlled trials comparing acupuncture to no acupuncture within 6 months of a stroke were identified by searching MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Chinese medical literature databases.


14 trials met the inclusion criteria. In trials that investigated acupuncture or no acupuncture in addition to stroke rehabilitation, no effects on change in motor impairment were found, and a small change in disability . Trials comparing real and sham acupuncture showed no effect . In trials with no additional stroke rehabilitation, there was a positive effect of acupuncture, but these studies were of a poor qualit y.


With stroke rehabilitation, acupuncture has no additional effect on motor recovery but has a small effect on disability . Without stroke rehabilitation, the effect of acupuncture remains uncertain .


Sze KFH, Wong E, Or KKH, Lau J, Woo J, et al. Does acupuncture improve motor recovery after stroke? A meta-analysis of rendomized controlled trials. Stroke 33 (11): 2604-2619, Nov 2002.

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