Quick Review of Effectiveness
NOTE: When reviewing the findings in the quick review table it is important to note that they are always made according to randomized clinical trial (RCT) criteria - specifically as compared to a control group. To clarify, if a treatment is “effective” it implies that it is more effective than the control treatment to which it was compared.
Nine studies, 6 high quality RCTs, 1 fair quality RCT and 2 pre-post design studies have investigated the effect of mirror therapy post-stroke. Specifically, studies have investigated the effectiveness on upper and lower extremity function in the sub-acute phase, and upper extremity function, quality of life and cortical reorganization in the chronic phase. A systematic review by Ezendam, Bongers and Jannink (2009) reviews 5 studies specific to mirror therapy intervention in a stroke population – 4 of these are examined in this module; the 5th study has not been included as it is not available in English. A more recent systematic review by Rothgangel et al (2011) included a 6th RCT, which is included in this module, along with 4 poor quality studies, 2 of which do not appear in this module as they are not available in English.
|Purpose||Findings||Level of Evidence|
|SUBACUTE PHASE OF STROKE RECOVERY|
|Attention to the affected arm||Effective||1b|
|Lower extremity function||Effective||1b|
|Upper limb motor function||Not effective||1b|
|Upper limb motor recovery||Effective||1b|
|Upper limb sensorimotor function||Not effective||1a|
|Upper limb spasticity||Not effective||1b|
|CHRONIC PHASE OF STROKE RECOVERY|
|Grip force||Not effective||1b|
|Motor capacity||Not effective||1b|
|Quality of life||Not effective||1b|