An investigation of the use of acupuncture in stroke patients in Taiwan: A national cohort study

Shu Wen Weng, Ta Liang Chen, Chun Chieh Yeh, Chien Chang Liao, Hsin Long Lane, Jaung Geng Lin, Chun Chuan Shih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Acupuncture is considered a complementary and alternative medicine in many countries. The purpose of this study was to report the pattern of acupuncture use and associated factors in patients with stroke. Methods: We used claims data from Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database and identified 285001 new-onset stroke patients in 2000-2008 from 23 million people allover Taiwan. The use of acupuncture treatment after stroke within one year was identified. We compared sociodemographics, coexisting medical conditions, and stroke characteristics between stroke patients who did and did not receive acupuncture treatment. Results: The use of acupuncture in stroke patients increased from 2000 to 2008. Female gender, younger age, white-collar employee status, higher income, and residence in areas with more traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) physicians were factors associated with acupuncture use in stroke patients. Ischemic stroke (odds ratio [OR] 1.21, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.15-1.28), having no renal dialysis (OR 2.76, 95 % CI 2.45-3.13), receiving rehabilitation (OR 3.20, 95 % CI 3.13-3.27) and longer hospitalization (OR 1.23, 95 % CI 1.19-1.27) were also associated with acupuncture use. Stroke patients using rehabilitation services were more likely to have more acupuncture visits and a higher expenditure on acupuncture compared with stroke patients who did not receive rehabilitation services. Conclusions: The application of acupuncture in stroke patients is well accepted and increasing in Taiwan. The use of acupuncture in stroke patients is associated with sociodemographic factors and clinical characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number321
JournalBMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 2016


  • Acupuncture
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Stroke
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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