2015 Volume 27 Issue 11 Pages 3519-3524
[Purpose] The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of a very early mirror therapy program on functional improvement of the upper extremity in acute stroke patients. [Subjects] Eight stroke patients who were treated in an acute neurology unit were included in the study. [Methods] The patients were assigned alternatively to either the mirror therapy group receiving mirror therapy and neurodevelopmental treatment or the neurodevelopmental treatment only group. The primary outcome measures were the upper extremity motor subscale of the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, Motricity Index upper extremity score, and the Stroke Upper Limb Capacity Scale. Somatosensory assessment with the Ayres Southern California Sensory Integration Test, and the Barthel Index were used as secondary outcome measures. [Results] No statistically significant improvements were found for any measures in either group after the treatment. In terms of minimally clinically important differences, there were improvements in Fugl-Meyer Assessment and Barthel Index in both mirror therapy and neurodevelopmental treatment groups. [Conclusion] The results of this pilot study revealed that very early mirror therapy has no additional effect on functional improvement of upper extremity function in acute stroke patients. Multicenter trials are needed to determine the results of early application of mirror therapy in stroke rehabilitation.