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The Efficacy of Acupuncture for Stroke Rehabilitation

The Efficacy of Acupuncture Combined with Conventional Multidisciplinary Western Rehabilitation – A Randomized Controlled Trial

Dr. Qizhi Gao, Wichita, KS

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects in the functional recovery of post stroke patients receiving multidisciplinary western rehabilitation and patients receiving acupuncture with electrical stimulation in addition to multidisciplinary western rehabilitation.

BACKGROUND: Stroke is third leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of serious long-term disability. About 700,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year, and almost half of those who survive are permanently disabled. Physical, cognitive and psychological disabilities are major medical and social problems. Very little research in this area has been done in the United States.

DESIGN/METHODS: The study was a 2:1 randomized study. The study group received classical acupuncture with electrical stimulation for 60 minutes in addition to their standard daily physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Intervention(s): All patients received 3 hours of therapy (physical, occupational and speech therapy) Monday through Friday and 1½ hours of therapy on weekendsThose in the study group also received acupuncture with electrical stimulation for 60 minutes on weekdays.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Motor function, mobility, and daily life activities were assessed at the time of admission, every 7 days during length of stay and at the time of discharge using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) scale.

RESULTS: Patients in the control group and the study group did not differ significantly in age, gender or stroke side. There were statistically significant improvements in discharge placement and total FIM score change in the study group.

CONCLUSIONS/RELEVANCE: Acupuncture is an effective adjunct to standard rehabilitation for post stroke patients as demonstrated by the 48 point FIM score change in the study group vs. the 20-point FIM score change in the control group and disposition of 90% of patients returned to their home in the study group vs. 33% in the control group.

Above paper was presented at the American Academy of Neurology 59th Annual Meeting on May 2, 2007

Supported by: Wesley Medical Research Institutes, 3306 E. Central, Wichita, KS 67208, 316-686-7172, Wesley Rehabilitation Hospital.
Category – Cerebrovascular Disease
SubCategory – Clinical Aspects


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