Table of Contents
ISRN Rehabilitation
Volume 2012, Article ID 926784, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects and Adherence of Mirror Therapy in People with Chronic Upper Limb Hemiparesis: A Preliminary Study

1Griffith Health Institute, Griffith University and The Prince Charles Hospital, Rode Road, Chermside, QLD 4032, Australia
2Gold Coast Hospital and School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia
3Griffith Health Institute and School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia

Received 19 September 2012; Accepted 10 October 2012

Academic Editors: M. A. Fernandez del Olmo and Y.-W. Hsieh

Copyright © 2012 Suzanne S. Kuys et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mirror therapy is a promising therapy with some benefit for motor recovery in people with chronic hemiparesis. However, there has been little investigation on the effect on upper limb sensory impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. A within-subject, repeated-measures study with 12 people with chronic hemiparesis was conducted. Participants underwent a thirty minute sensorimotor mirror therapy home-based exercise program, conducted three times per week for six weeks. Compliance with the program and the effect on sensory outcomes were determined. Light touch threshold and proprioceptive error, upper limb activity limitations, and participation restrictions were measured at baseline (Week 0), immediately after (Week 6), and six weeks (Week 12) following the intervention. Compliance with the program was fair, 66% of supervised and 62% of unsupervised sessions were completed. The paretic hand performed worse compared to nonparetic hand at baseline with no difference in sensory measures demonstrated over time. Activity limitations and participation restrictions improved by Week 12 ( ). This sensorimotor mirror therapy home-based exercise program showed small improvements in light touch threshold and proprioception that appear to be functionally important for this group of people with chronic hemiparesis. Mirror therapy may be a useful tool for clinicians particularly for patient independent use.