Wichita Recovering stroke patients benefited so much from acupuncture therapy that Wesley Rehabilitation Hospital cut short its study into the benefits of the ancient practice.
Now, acupuncture is offered to all patients who met the study's qualifications.
The small study, which began about two years ago and ended several months ago, was restricted to patients having their first stroke, with no more than six weeks having passed from the onset of symptoms.
Thirty-three patients participated in the study. They were assigned randomly, and 11 didn't get acupuncture. All got the more traditional speech, occupational and physical therapy six days a week.
Ninety percent of the patients who got acupuncture, and 33 percent of those who didn't, were able to go home rather than to another facility after leaving the hospital, said Dr. Blake Veenis, a rehabilitation medicine specialist.
Stroke patients who got acupuncture also showed more improvement toward being able to carry out such tasks as dressing, bathing, grooming, walking and changing position.
Cyndy Miller, director of clinical services at the hospital, said those involved in the study were writing up their research and hoped to have it accepted for publication in a medical journal.