Acupuncture Therapy and Incidence of Depression After Stroke Interview with:
Chung-Yen Lu, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor
Department of Sport and Health Management, Da-Yeh University, Changhua, Taiwan; Department of Chinese Medicine, Taipei Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare,
New Taipei, Taiwan What is the background for this study?

Response: Post-stroke depression is a common mood complication of patients with stroke and may deteriorate motor function and cognitive function. Acupuncture therapy is an alternative and supplementary medical care often used worldwide. Previous studies have reported that acupuncture therapy for post-stroke depression may involve multiple therapeuticeffects including treating neurological disorders and physical disabilities following stroke, which are predictors of post-stroke depression. However, population-based evaluations on the association between acupuncture treatment and prevention of post-stroke depression are rare. What are the main findings?

Response:  In a population of patients admitted to hospital for a first stroke in Taiwan, 10.7% of patients accessed acupuncture for an average of 13 sessions (median 9 sessions) in outpatient clinics within a 3-month period following hospital discharge.

We observed no association between acupuncture within 3 months after discharge and incidence of post-stroke depression with median follow-up of 4 years. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The population study reveals that acupuncture therapy within a 3-month post-stroke period may not be effective in prevention of post-stroke depression. The results might not apply to patients with mild depression, as this study is an analysis of administrative claims that do not contain information for patients who do not seek medical care. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Further prevention studies, particularly high-quality clinical trials, are needed to provide information about the effectiveness by the needling site, needling technique and the number of sessions. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Acupuncture Therapy and Incidence of Depression After Stroke

Chung-Yen Lu, Hsin-Chia Huang, Hen-Hong Chang, Tsung-Hsien Yang, Chee-Jen Chang, Su-Wei Chang, Pei-Chun Chen
Stroke. 2017;STROKEAHA.117.016959
Originally published April 28, 2017

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on June 4, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD