[Purpose] This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of mirror therapy combined with a conventional rehabilitation program on upper extremity motor and functional recovery in stroke patients.
[Subjects and Methods] Thirty-one hemiplegic patients were included. The patients were randomly assigned to a mirror (n=16) or conventional group (n=15). The patients in both groups underwent conventional therapy for 4 weeks (60–120 minutes/day, 5 days/week). The mirror group received mirror therapy, consisting of periodic flexion and extension movements of the wrist and fingers on the non-paralyzed side. The patients in the conventional group performed the same exercises against the non-reflecting face of the mirror. The patients were evaluated at the beginning and end of the treatment by a blinded assessor using the Brunnstrom stage, Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) upper extremity score, and the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) self-care score.
[Results] There was an improvement in Brunnstrom stage and the FIM self-care score in both groups, but the post-treatment FMA score was significantly higher in the mirror therapy group than in the conventional treatment group.
[Conclusion] Mirror therapy in addition to a conventional rehabilitation program was found to provide additional benefit in motor recovery of the upper extremity in stroke patients. Key words: Stroke rehabilitation, Mirror therapy, Upper extremity