Research: SZE and colleagues, De

Listed in Issue 75


SZE and colleagues, Department of Medicine, Shatin Hospital, Hong Kong,, carried out a prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial to examine whether acupuncture might provide additional benefits over standard post-stroke motor rehabilitation .


Following a stroke, many patients remain severely disabled despite conventional rehabilitation.


The study was conducted at a stroke rehabilitation unit in Hong Kong and included 106 Chinese patients with moderate-to-severe functional impairment at 3 to 15 days after a stroke . They were stratified into moderate and severe groups before randomization. Patients were then assigned to either 1) standard modalities of treatment (control group), which included physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapy, and skilled medical and nursing care, or 2) standard modalities of treatment plus traditional Chinese manual acupuncture (intervention group), which involved a mean of 35 acupuncture sessions on 10 main acupoints over 10 weeks . Outcome measures, performed by blinded assessors at weeks 0, 5 and 10, included Fugl-Meyer assessment, Barthel Index and Functional Independence Measure, respectively.


Patients in the 2 groups were comparable at baseline with regard to all important prognostic characteristics. No statistically significant differences were found between the 2 treatment groups on any of the outcomes measured at week 10 or on outcome changes over time.


Conclusion: Traditional Chinese manual acupuncture on the body, as conducted in this study, had no additional benefit over standard post-stroke motor rehabilitation.


Sze FKH et al. Does acupuncture have additional value to standard poststroke motor rehabilitation? Stroke 33 (1): 186-94. Jan 2002.

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