Additional therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture in conjunction with conventional rehabilitation for patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke
Ru-Lan Hsieh, Liang-Yi Wang and Wen-Chung Lee
Objective: This study examined the additional therapeutic effects of electroacupuncture for patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke.
Design: Randomized controlled study.
Subjects: A total of 63 patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke.
Methods: The study and control groups underwent a conventional rehabilitation program, with the former receiving an additional 8 courses of electroacupuncture over a period of one month. Therapeutic effects were assessed by the Fugl-Meyer Assessment for motor performance and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM™) for the independence of functional performance at 2 and 4 weeks after treatment, and 3 months and 6 months after stroke.
Results: For total Fugl-Meyer Assessment score, improvement was more significant for the study group relative to the control group at 2 weeks (16.2 vs 10.6; p = 0.047) and 4 weeks after treatment (27.4 vs 17.1; p = 0.005), and at 3 months after the stroke (34.7 vs 21.8; p = 0.009). The Fugl-Meyer Assessment scores improved significantly, especially in upper-limb motor function for the study group. There was no statistically significant between-group difference in total FIM™ score improvement.
Conclusion: Electroacupuncture can improve motor function, especially in upper-limb motor function, for patients with first-ever ischaemic stroke.