Motor Recovery of the Severely Impaired Paretic Upper Limb After Mirror Therapy in Sub-acute Stroke

Completed

Phase N/A Results N/A

Trial Description

Our study aims at investigating the effect of intensive mirror therapy on the motor recovery of severely impaired paretic arm at subacute stroke.

Detailed Description

It was reported that upper limb hemiparesis happened in 80% of stroke patients and only 20% regained full arm function 6 months post stroke. The paretic upper arm accounted for 50% of the variance in functional limitation after stroke. Early and intensive upper limb intervention can promote motor recovery of paretic arm and is associated with better upper limb functional outcomes on 6 month post stroke. Mirror therapy (MT) is one of the potential approach in enhancing motor recovery of paretic arm after stroke. However, the effect of intensive MT on the motor recovery of severely impaired paretic arm after stroke has not been investigated. Knowledge on the effect of intensive MT on motor recovery can enhance formulation of effective and efficiency treatment protocol in stroke rehabilitation. Therefore, our study aims at investigating the effect of intensive MT on the motor recovery of severely impaired paretic arm of patients at subacute phase of stroke.
Stroke patients admitted to Haven of Hope Hospital will be screened according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. Eligible subjects will consent and be randomized into two groups: MT group- subjects will have daily two 30-min sessions of standardized bilateral upper limbs exercise with presence of mirror, 5 days per week for 4 consecutive weeks. During MT, a mirror is placed in the patient's mid-sagittal plane, with the reflecting surface facing the non-paretic upper limb so that the reflected image of this non-paretic limb would be perceived as the paretic upper limb. Subjects are instructed to watch at the movements of the reflected image of the non-paretic limbs and at the same time, the paretic upper limb should imitate the observed movements and be synchronized with those of the good side. Standardized bilateral upper limbs exercise (4 sets of 30 repetitions of shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers movements) will be carried out within 30 min per session. Control group subjects will receive same daily two sessions of standardized bilateral upper limbs exercise without mirror, 5 days per week for 4 consecutive weeks. Motor functions of paretic arm of subjects measured by Fugl-Meyer Assessment (motor domain) and Wolf Motor Function Test will be assessed by independent assessor who is blinded to the group allocation of subjects before and after the 4-week intervention. Baseline comparison between the two groups was tested with independent t-test and the difference among and between groups after intervention will be tested by repeated measures ANOVA with level of significant at 0.05.

Conditions

Interventions

  • Mirror therapy Other
    Intervention Desc: During MT, subjects will sit in front of a table on which a mirror will be placed vertically in the space ipsilateral to the paretic upper limb with its reflective surface facing the unaffected upper limb. The subjects are required to look at the mirror to observe the reflective image of the unaffected arm from shoulder to the hand, while it is performing certain designated movements. At the same time, the affected arm will be required to follow the unaffected arm to practice the same movements. The upper limbs movements during the 30-min MT session are open and close of grasp; wrist flexion and extension; forearm supination and pronation; elbow flexion and extension; shoulder flexion and extension. A total of 120 repetitions for each action will be practiced.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Mirror therapy group
    Description: MT group subjects will attend training sessions of bilateral upper limb exercise daily in the presence of the mirror.
  • Control Therapy Other
    Intervention Desc: Control group subjects undergo the same bilateral upper limbs exercise protocol without mirror
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Control therapy group
    Description: Control group subjects will undergo the same training sessions of bilateral upper limb exercise daily without mirror.

Outcomes

Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary Fugl-Meyer Assessment arm score 4 weeks
Secondary Wolf Motor Function Test 4 weeks

Sponsors