Effects of mirror therapy on motor and sensory recovery in chronic stroke: A randomized controlled trial

Ching Yi Wu, Pai Chuan Huang, Yu Ting Chen, Keh Chung Lin, Hsiu Wen Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the effects of mirror therapy (MT) versus control treatment (CT) on movement performance, motor control, sensory recovery, and performance of activities of daily living in people with chronic stroke. Design: Single-blinded, randomized controlled trial. Setting: Four hospitals. Participants: Outpatients with chronic stroke (N=33) with mild to moderate motor impairment. Interventions: The MT group (n=16) received upper extremity training involving repetitive bimanual, symmetrical movement practice, in which the individual moves the affected limb while watching the reflective illusion of the unaffected limb's movements from a mirror. The CT group received task-oriented upper extremity training. The intensity for both groups was 1.5 hours/day, 5 days/week, for 4 weeks. Main Outcome Measurements: The Fugl-Meyer Assessment; kinematic variables, including reaction time, normalized movement time, normalized total displacement, joint recruitment, and maximum shoulder-elbow cross-correlation; the Revised Nottingham Sensory Assessment; the Motor Activity Log; and the ABILHAND questionnaire. Results: The MT group performed better in the overall (P=.01) and distal part (P=.04) Fugl-Meyer Assessment scores and demonstrated shorter reaction time (P=.04), shorter normalized total displacement (P=.04), and greater maximum shoulder-elbow cross-correlation (P=.03). The Revised Nottingham Sensory Assessment temperature scores improved significantly more in the MT group than in the CT group. No significant differences on the Motor Activity Log and the ABILHAND questionnaire were found immediately after MT or at follow-up. Conclusions: The application of MT after stroke might result in beneficial effects on movement performance, motor control, and temperature sense, but may not translate into daily functions in the population with chronic stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1030
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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