Use of acupuncture therapy as a supplement to conventional medical treatments for acute ischaemic stroke patients in an academic medical centre in Korea.

Author: Chang H, Kwon YD, Yoon SS.
Department of Health Services Management, School of Management, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Conference/Journal: Complement Ther Med.
Date published: 2011 Oct
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 5 , Pages: 256-263 , Word Count: 228

Acupuncture has served as a major complementary and alternative therapy that supplements conventional medicine and is the subject of growing public interest. This study was conducted to estimate the usage rate of acupuncture as a supplemental treatment in acute ischaemic stroke patients and to identify factors associated with the choice to use this therapy.

Using the registry of stroke patients admitted to an academic medical centre in Korea, the use of acupuncture therapy was recorded and analysed, along with the patients' socio-demographic characteristics, hospital access variables, risk factors for ischaemic stroke and clinical characteristics. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression analyses.

Of 2167 patients, 18% received acupuncture therapy. The choice of acupuncture therapy was significantly associated with stroke severity as well as gender, age, geographical residence and previous history of stroke. After controlling for other significant factors, there was an approximately 3.4-fold greater usage in patients with moderately severe strokes (95% confidence interval (CI)=2.5-4.6) and 4.1-fold greater usage in patients with severe strokes (95% CI=2.7-6.4).

The findings provide a better understanding of patients' utilization of acupuncture therapy as a supplement to conventional medical treatments and of factors associated with the utilization of acupuncture in patients with acute ischemic stroke. Strategic implications of acupuncture therapy are suggested for both health-care providers and policy makers.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21944655