Acupuncture for Stroke Rehabilitation
This investigation reviewed 31 studies to address the question of whether acupuncture is an effective way to improve the daily activities, movement, and quality of life of stroke victims. Participants recovering from stroke were placed in three groups: some received acupuncture, some received no acupuncture, and some received simulated acupuncture. The outcomes were evaluated using the measures of activities of daily living, neurological function, movement, cognition, depression, swallowing, pain, and quality of life. While there was some evidence that acupuncture improved activities of daily living and aspects of neurological function, these conclusions came from studies with poor evidence. The reviewers concluded that acupuncture may have beneficial effects on several neurological impairments for people with stroke in the convalescent stage, with no obvious side effects, but that the evidence remains inadequate to draw any conclusions about its routine use. The researchers recommend further large, randomized studies to clarify the situation.