Mirror Therapy Combined With Biofeedback Functional Electrical Stimulation for Motor Recovery of Upper Extremities After Stroke: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of mirror therapy in combination with biofeedback functional electrical stimulation (BF-FES) on motor recovery of the upper extremities after stroke. Twenty-nine patients who suffered a stroke > 6 months prior participated in this study and were randomly allocated to three groups. The BF-FES + mirror therapy and FES + mirror therapy groups practiced training for 5 × 30min sessions over a 4-week period. The control group received a conventional physical therapy program. The following clinical tools were used to assess motor recovery of the upper extremities: electrical muscle tester, electrogoniometer, dual-inclinometer, electrodynamometer, the Box and Block Test (BBT) and Jabsen Taylor Hand Function Test (JHFT), the Functional Independence Measure, the Modified Ashworth Scale, and the Stroke Specific Quality of Life (SSQOL) assessment. The BF-FES + mirror therapy group showed significant improvement in wrist extension as revealed by the Manual Muscle Test and Range of Motion (p < 0.05). The BF-FES + mirror therapy group showed significant improvement in the BBT, JTHT, and SSQOL compared with the FES + mirror therapy group and control group (p < 0.05). We found that BF-FES + mirror therapy induced motor recovery and improved quality of life. These results suggest that mirror therapy, in combination with BF-FES, is feasible and effective for motor recovery of the upper extremities after stroke. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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