Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the effect of modified constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) in a real-world clinical setting on spasticity and functional use of the affected arm and hand in patients with spastic chronic hemiplegia.
Method: A prospective consecutive quasi-experimental study design was used. Twenty patients with spastic hemiplegia (aged 22–67 years) were tested before and after 2-week modified CIMT in an outpatient rehabilitation clinic and at 6 months. The Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), active range of motion (AROM), grip strength, Motor Activity Log (MAL), Sollerman hand function test, and Box and Block Test (BBT) were used as outcome measures.
Results: Reductions (p<0.05–0.001) in spasticity (MAS) were seen both after the 2-week training period and at 6-month follow-up. Improvements were also seen in AROM (median change of elbow extension 5°, dorsiflexion of hand 10°), grip strength (20 Newton), and functional use after the 2-week training period (MAL: 1 point; Sollerman test: 8 points; BBT: 4 blocks). The improvements persisted at 6-month follow-up, except for scores on the Sollerman hand function test, which improved further.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that modified CIMT in an outpatient clinic may reduce spasticity and increase functional use of the affected arm in spastic chronic hemiplegia, with improvements persisting at 6 months.