Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Background : Stroke is one of the biggest healthcare problems in developing countries.Majority of the stroke patients have persistent upper limbs motorimpairment. One of the promising methods to assist motor improvementis mirror therapy. However, the evidence supporting efficacy of thisintervention in chronic stroke patients is limited, due to small samplesize and non-RCTs in most currently available studies.Objective : To investigate whether mirror therapy, as an adjunct program, can helpchronic stroke survivors regain their upper limbs’ motor functions, handrelatedfunctions and reduce spasticity.Methods : Forty-four chronic stroke patients were divided into 2 groups, whounderwent clinical assessment for adjunct mirror therapy versus placebo.Clinical data of both the intervention and placebo were compared atbaseline, 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks. Brunnstrom stage of recovery, motorassessment scale of the upper extremity, modified Ashworth scale, andtip and lateral pinch gauges were assessed after the intervention atbaseline, weeks: 2, 4, 8 and 12.Results : There were significant improvements within the intervention group whencompared to the baseline levels for Brunnstrom hand and arm,Barthel activity as early as 2 weeks, and Motor Assessment Scale andlateral pinch strength as early as 8 weeks. This improvement alsocontinued until the end of the study. Significant recovery betweenthe groups was seen for the Brunnstrom hand at only 2nd week.Conclusion : Mirror therapy with the conventional rehabilitation program may help toimprove the Brunnstrom recovery stage for hand as early as 2nd weekwhen compared with the sham therapy. The use of mirror therapy issimple, easy, cheap and can be done at the home.


Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University



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