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