Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 1995 Sep; 115(23): 2884-7.
[Acupuncture therapy in stroke during the subacute phase. A randomized controlled trial]
Sunnaas sykehus, Nesoddtangen.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether acupuncture treatment, if given to stroke patients in subacute phase in addition to rehabilitation would influence motor function, activity of daily living (ADL) and quality of life. After obtaining informed consent, 45 patients (median age 57 years) were randomised into a control group (n = 21) and an acupuncture group (n = 24). Median time from onset of stroke to inclusion in the study was 40 days. The inclusion criterion was hemiparesis following a first-ever stroke. When included and six weeks later all patients were evaluated by three measurement systems: the Motor Assessment Scale for stroke patients, Sunnaas Index of ADL and Nottingham Health Profile. All patients underwent individually adapted rehabilitation therapy. The patients in the treatment group were given classical acupuncture three to four times a week for six weeks, each session lasting 20-30 minutes. Both groups improved significantly in motor function and ADL. However, improvement was significantly greater among the acupuncture group than among the controls. Only the acupuncture group rated a significantly improved quality of life. Our results indicate that acupuncture gives an additive therapeutic benefit when given to stroke patients during their rehabilitation programme in the subacute phase.