Mirror therapy improves motor function after stroke

Clinical question: 
How effective is mirror therapy for improving motor function, activities of daily living, pain and visuospatial neglect in patients after stroke?
Bottom line: 
When compared with all other interventions, mirror therapy improved movement of the affected limb and the ability to carry out daily activities. It also reduced pain after stroke, but only in patients with a complex regional pain syndrome. The beneficial effects on movement were maintained for 6 months, but not in all study groups. No adverse side effects were reported.
Caveat: 
Limitations included the small sample sizes of most studies, and control interventions that were not used routinely in stroke rehabilitation.
Context: 
Mirror therapy is used to improve motor function after stroke. During mirror therapy, a mirror is placed in the patient’s mid-sagittal plane, thus reflecting movements of the non-paretic side as if it were the affected side.
Review CD#: 
CD008449
PEARLS No: 
361
Date: 
July, 2012
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy