A mirror therapy program is an effective intervention for upper-limb motor recovery and motor function improvement in patients with acute stroke, say authors of an article published in American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
For this study, 26 patients who had an acute stroke within 6 months of study commencement were assigned to the experimental group (n = 13) or the control group (n = 13). Both experimental and control group patients participated in a standard rehabilitation program, but only the experimental group members participated in mirror therapy program for 25 minutes twice a day, 5 times a week, for 4 weeks. Researchers used the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Brunnstrom motor recovery stage, and Manual Function Test to assess changes in upper-limb motor recovery and motor function after intervention.
In upper-limb motor recovery, the scores of Fugl-Meyer Assessment (by shoulder/elbow/forearm items, 9.54 vs 4.61; wrist items, 2.76 vs 1.07; hand items, 4.43 vs 1.46, respectively) and Brunnstrom stages for upper limb and hand (by 1.77 vs 0.69 and 1.92 vs 0.50, respectively) were improved more in the experimental group than in the control group. In upper-limb motor function, the Manual Function Test score (by shoulder item, 5.00 vs 2.23; hand item, 5.07 vs 0.46, respectively) was significantly increased in the experimental group compared with the control group. No significant differences were found between the groups for the coordination items in Fugl-Meyer Assessment.