Constraint-induced movement therapy for rehabilitation of arm dysfunction after stroke in adults: an evidence-based analysis.
- Ontario health technology assessment series
OBJECTIVE To study the effects of constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) relative to traditional intervention on motor-control strategies for upper-arm reaching and motor performance at the impairment and functional levels in stroke patients. DESIGN Two-group randomized controlled trial (RCT); pretreatment and posttreatment measures. SETTING Rehabilitation clinics. PARTICIPANTS Forty-seven stroke patients (mean age, 55y) 3 weeks to 37 months postonset of a first-ever cerebrovascular accident. INTERVENTIONS Forty-seven patients received either CIMT (restraint of the less affected hand combined with intensive training of the more affected upper extremity) or traditional intervention (control treatment) during the study. The treatment intensity was matched between the 2 groups (2h/d, 5d/wk for 3wk). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Outcomes were evaluated using (1) kinematic variables of reaching movement used to describe the control strategies for reaching, (2) the Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) of motor-impairment severity, and (3) the Motor Activity Log (MAL) evaluating the functional ability of the upper extremity. RESULTS After treatment, the CIMT group showed better strategies of reaching control than the control group (P<.03). The CIMT group also showed less motor impairment on the FMA (P=.019) and higher functional ability on the MAL (P<.001). CONCLUSIONS This study is the first RCT to show differences in motor-control strategies as measured by kinematic variables after CIMT versus traditional intervention. In addition to improving motor performance at the impairment and functional levels, CIMT conferred therapeutic benefits on control strategies determined by kinematic analysis.