Task-Based Mirror Therapy Augmenting Motor Recovery in Poststroke Hemiparesis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2015 Aug;24(8):1738-48. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2015.03.026. Epub 2015 Jun 19.


Background: To establish the effect of the task-based mirror therapy (TBMT) on the upper limb recovery in stroke.

Methods: A pilot, randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded trial was conducted in a rehabilitation institute. A convenience sample of 33 poststroke (mean duration, 12.5 months) hemiparetic subjects was randomized into 2 groups (experimental, 17; control, 16). The subjects were allocated to receive either TBMT or standard motor rehabilitation-40 sessions (5/week) for a period of 8 weeks. The TBMT group received movements using various goal-directed tasks and a mirror box. The movements were performed by the less-affected side superimposed on the affected side. The main outcome measures were Brunnstrom recovery stage (BRS) and Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA)-FMA of upper extremity (FMA-UE), including upper arm (FMA-UA) and wrist-hand (FMA-WH).

Results: The TBMT group exhibited highly significant improvement on mean scores of FMA-WH (P < .001) and FMA-UE (P < .001) at postassessment in comparison to the control group. Furthermore, there was a 12% increase in the number of subjects at BRS stage 5 (out of synergy movement) in the experimental group as compared to a 0% rise at the same stage in the control group.

Conclusions: This pilot trial confirmed the role of TBMT in improving the wrist-hand motor recovery in poststroke hemiparesis. MT using tasks may be used as an adjunct in stroke rehabilitation.

Keywords: Hemiparesis; mirror therapy; motor recovery; stroke rehabilitation; task-specific training; visual illusion.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imagery, Psychotherapy / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*
  • Paresis / etiology
  • Paresis / rehabilitation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stroke / complications
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed