Acupuncture as an adjuvant therapy in stroke rehabilitation?

Wien Med Wochenschr. 1996;146(21-22):556-8.


The optimal treatment during stroke rehabilitation has not yet been identified. Several recent reports claim that acupuncture may be a useful addition to conventional stroke rehabilitation. The aim of this paper is to critically review these data. All controlled trials published on this subject were identified by systematic literature searches. Without exception, these trials suggest positive effects of acupuncture on functional recovery. None of them, however, attempted to account for a possible placebo effect. Several other methodological flaws must be considered as well. It is therefore concluded that, according to the data published to date, the evidence that acupuncture is a useful adjunct for stroke rehabilitation is encouraging but not compelling. More and better trials are required to clarify this highly relevant issue.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Placebo Effect
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome