The Effectiveness of Mirror Therapy on Upper Limb Function in Stroke Patients: A Single Case Experimental Design

To assess the effectiveness of mirror therapy (MT) on upper limb (UL) function of sub-acute stroke patients.


This study is a single case experimental design with two participants. Twenty minutes of MT were implemented four times a week over a period of four weeks. For baseline phase, repeated measurements were performed six times for one participant and four times for the other participant using Fugl-Meyer Motor Function Assessment (FMA), and it was applied twice a week during the intervention phase. Brunnstrom Recovery Stages (BRS) and Barthel Index (BI) were applied once before the baseline phase, as well as prior and after the intervention phase.


Based on percentage of non-overlapping data (PND) for FMA subtests, MT had questionable effectiveness on UL for both participants, and MT was unreliable intervention on wrist function. For the hand, of the second participant, MT had questionable effectiveness, whereas for the first participant it was unreliable intervention. For coordination, MT was fairly effective for the first participant and had questionable effectiveness for the second participant. BRS-Arm scores indicated improvements for the second participant from 3 (out of 6) to 4. BRS-Hand scores indicated improvements for the first participant from 5 (out of 6) to 6. No changes were shown in BI.


This study revealed that MT had positive effects on some sections of UL motor function and coordination, whereas no change in wrist motor function was observed. No functional improvements in BI and slight difference in BRS were noticed.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Iranian Rehabilitation Journal, Volume:17 Issue:41, 2019
285 - 292  
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