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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7498763, 10 pages
Research Article

Clinical Evaluation of Acupuncture as Treatment for Complications of Cerebrovascular Accidents: A Randomized, Sham-Controlled, Subject- and Assessor-Blind Trial

1College of Chinese Medicine, Graduate Institute of Acupuncture Science, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
2Department of Acupuncture, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan
3Department of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
4College of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
5Department of Neurosurgery, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan
6Department of Information Management, Da-Yeh University, Changhua 500, Taiwan
7Research Center for Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Yu-Chen Lee; wt.gro.humc.liam@7615d

Received 25 December 2016; Accepted 5 March 2017; Published 20 March 2017

Academic Editor: Jenny M. Wilkinson

Copyright © 2017 Hsien-Yin Liao 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 and Purpose. The effect of acupuncture as treatment for poststroke complications is questionable. We performed a randomized, sham-controlled double-blind study to investigate it. Methods. Patients with first-time acute stroke were randomized to receive 24 sessions of either real or sham acupuncture during an eight-week period. The primary outcome measure was change in National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score. Secondary outcome measures included changes in Barthel Index (BI), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) for pain scores. Results. Of the 52 patients who were randomized to receive acupuncture () or placebo (), 10 patients in the acupuncture group and 9 patients in the placebo group failed to complete the treatment. In total, 18 patients in the acupuncture group and 15 patients in the control group completed the treatment course. Reduction in pain was significantly greater in the acupuncture group than in the control group ( value = 0.04). There were no significant differences in the other measures between the two groups. Conclusions. Acupuncture provided more effective poststroke pain relief than sham acupuncture treatment. However, acupuncture had no better effect on neurological, functional, and psychological improvement.