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In this meta-analysis the authors evaluated the effectiveness of acupuncture in improving functional communication and language function in post-stroke aphasia (PSA) patients.
Data sources: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, AMED, SinoMed, CNKI, VIP, and Wanfang databases, ICTRP, ISRCTN, EUCTR, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Stroke Trials Registries. A search was carried out for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) investigating the effects of acupuncture compared with no treatment or placebo acupuncture on post-stroke aphasia (PSA). The searched records were independently screened by two authors, who extracted the data, and assessed risk of bias of the included RCTs. Data aggregation and risk of bias evaluation were conducted on Review Manager Version 5.3. The protocol was registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42016037543).
A total of 28 RCTs involving 1747 patients (883 patients in the treatment group and 864 patients in the control group) were included in the quantitative synthesis. The results demonstrated significant effects of acupuncture in improving PSA functional communication (P < 0.00001, standardized mean difference (SMD) = 1.01 [0.81, 1.20]), severity of impairment (P < 0.0001, SMD = 0.64 [0.45, 0.84]), spontaneous speech (P = 0.0002, SMD = 1.51 [0.71, 2.32]), auditory comprehension (P < 0.0001, SMD = 0.84 [0.43, 1.26]), repetition (P < 0.00001, SMD = 1.13 [0.75, 1.52]), naming (P = 0.03, SMD = 0.65 [0.08, 1.23]), reading (P < 0.0001, SMD = 1.56 [0.83, 2.29]), and writing (P = 0.009, SMD = 1.03 [0.25, 1.80]).
Acupuncture seems to be effective in improving PSA functional communication and language function.