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Mirror Therapy in Stroke Rehabilitation: Current Perspectives

Authors Gandhi DBC, Sterba A, Khatter H, Pandian JD

Received 15 October 2019

Accepted for publication 16 January 2020

Published 7 February 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 75—85

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/TCRM.S206883

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Garry Walsh


Dorcas BC Gandhi, 1, 2 Albert Sterba, 3 Himani Khatter, 2 Jeyaraj D Pandian 2

1College of Physiotherapy, Christian Medical College & Hospital Ludhiana, Ludhiana, Punjab, India; 2Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Stroke Brno, International Clinical Research Center, St. Anne's University Hospital, Brno, Czech Republic; 3Department of Neurology, Christian Medical College & Hospital Ludhiana, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence: Jeyaraj D Pandian
Department of Neurology, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab 141008, India
Tel +91 9915784750
Email jeyarajpandian@hotmail.com

Abstract: In contrast to varied therapy approaches, mirror therapy (MT) can be used even in completely plegic stroke survivors, as it uses visual stimuli for producing a desired response in the affected limb. MT has been studied to have effects not just on motor impairments but also on sensations, visuospatial neglect, and pain after stroke. This paper attempts to systematically review and present the current perspectives on mirror therapy and its application in stroke rehabilitation, and dosage, feasibility and acceptability in stroke rehabilitation. An electronic database search across Google, PubMed, Web of Science, etc., generated 3871 results. After screening them based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, we included 28 studies in this review. The data collected were divided on the basis of application in stroke rehabilitation, modes of intervention delivery, and types of control and outcome assessment. We found that most studies intervened for upper limb motor impairments post stroke. Studies were equally distributed between intervention in chronic and acute phases post stroke with therapy durations lasting between 1 and 8 weeks. MT showed definitive motor and sensory improvements although the extent of improvements in sensory impairments and hemineglect is limited. MT proves to be an effective and feasible approach to rehabilitate post-stroke survivors in the acute, sub-acute, and chronic phases of stroke, although its long-term effects and impact on activities of daily living need to be analysed extensively.

Keywords: mirror therapy, stroke, rehabilitation, motor, sensory, hemineglect, unilateral neglect, pain

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