Mirror therapy (MT) combined with mesh glove (MG) afferent stimulation (MT + MG) has been suggested as an effective intervention for motor recovery in patients with stroke. This study aimed to further determine the treatment effects of the MT + MG approach on muscular properties, sensorimotor functions, and daily function.
This was a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Forty-eight participants with chronic stroke were recruited from medical centers and were randomly assigned to the MT, MT + MG, and MT with sham MG stimulation (MT + sham) groups. The intervention consisted of 1.5 hrs/day, 5 days/wk for 4 wks. Primary outcomes were the Fugl-Meyer Assessment and muscular properties (muscle tone and stiffness). Secondary outcomes included measures of sensorimotor and daily functions.
Compared with the MT and MT + sham groups, the MT + MG group demonstrated improved muscular properties. The MT + MG and MT + sham groups showed greater improvement in manual dexterity and daily function than the MT group did. No beneficial effects on the Fugl-Meyer Assessment and other sensorimotor outcomes were found for the MT + MG group.
Although no significant group differences were found in the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, MT + MG induced distinctive effects on muscular properties, manual dexterity, and daily function.