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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 159391, 8 pages
Research Article

Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT): Current Perspectives and Future Directions

Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

Received 7 November 2011; Revised 14 February 2012; Accepted 15 February 2012

Academic Editor: Agnès Roby-Brami

Copyright © 2012 Aimee P. Reiss 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.


Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) has gained considerable popularity as a treatment technique for upper extremity rehabilitation among patients with mild-to-moderate stroke. While substantial evidence has emerged to support its applicability, issues remain unanswered regarding the best and most practical approach. Following the establishment of what can be called the “signature” CIMT approach characterized by intense clinic/laboratory-based practice, several distributed forms of training, collectively known as modified constraint therapy (mCIMT), have emerged. There is a need to examine the strengths and limitations of such approaches, and based upon such information, develop the components of a study that would compare the signature approach to the best elements of mCIMT, referred to here as “alternative” CIMT. Based upon a PEDro review of literature, limitations in mCIMT studies for meeting criteria were identified and discussed. A suggestion for a “first effort” at a comparative study that would both address such limitations while taking practical considerations into account is provided.