Constraint-induced movement therapy: characterizing the intervention protocol

Eura Medicophys. 2006 Sep;42(3):257-68.


Constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy) is a rehabilitation treatment approach that improves more-affected extremity use following a stroke, especially in the life situation. The originators of the approach describe CI therapy as consisting of a family of therapies including a number of treatment components and subcomponents. When thinking of CI therapy, rehabilitation researchers and clinicians frequently cite a restraining mitt on the less affected arm as the main active ingredient behind improvements in motor function. However, substantial data suggest that restraint makes actually a relatively small contribution to treatment outcome. This paper provides a detailed description of the multiple treatment elements included in the CI therapy protocol as used in our research laboratory. Our aim is to improve understanding of CI therapy and the research supporting its use.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance
  • Physical Therapy Modalities*
  • Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine / methods*
  • Restraint, Physical*
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation*
  • Treatment Outcome