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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 2349794, 8 pages
Research Article

Effectiveness and Safety of Acupuncture for Poststroke Dysphagia: Study Protocol for a Pragmatic Multicenter Nonrandomized Controlled Trial

1School of Chinese Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong
2Pok Oi Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Chinese Medicine Centre for Training & Research, Shatin, Hong Kong

Correspondence should be addressed to Zhi-Xiu Lin; kh.ude.khuc@xznil

Received 10 September 2016; Accepted 5 January 2017; Published 29 January 2017

Academic Editor: Ching-Liang Hsieh

Copyright © 2017 Yu Tat Chan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Dysphagia is one of the most common complications of stroke. Acupuncture is widely employed to treat poststroke dysphagia in East Asia. No evidence is established to support such treatment approach. This proposed study aims to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for the treatment of poststroke dysphagia. Methods and Design. This is a multicenter, pragmatic, single-blinded, nonrandomized controlled clinical trial. A total of 140 eligible patients will be enrolled in the study. Subjects who are eligible in study but refuse to have acupuncture treatment will be put on the no-acupuncture control arm. Both groups of patients will receive standard routine care, while the patients of intervention group will receive add-on standardized acupuncture treatment. Each participant in intervention group will receive a total of 24 sessions of acupuncture treatment (three times per week). The primary outcome measure is the Royal Brisbane Hospital Outcome Measure for Swallowing (RBHOMS). Secondary outcome measures include functional oral intake scale, swallow quality-of-life questionnaire in Chinese version, BMI of the participant, and adverse events. All outcome measures will be assessed at baseline, at the end of acupuncture treatment (month 2), and at two months after treatment (month 4). Ethics and Dissemination. The ethics approval of clinical research study was granted by the Research Ethics Committee of both New Territories East and West Cluster of Hong Kong. Written informed consent will be obtained from all participants and the study will be undertaken according to the ICH-GCP Guidelines. Trial Registration. This trial is registered with (registration number: ChiCTR-TRC-12002621 and registration date: 2012-10-26).