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Restor Neurol Neurosci. 2009;27(6):673-80. doi: 10.3233/RNN-2009-0524.

Comparison of two types of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in chronic stroke patients: A pilot study.

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Department of Primary Medical Care, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.


Several studies showed that Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) leads to a lasting improvement of upper extremity function in chronic stroke patients. The original technique includes an intensive 2-week program with 6 hours of daily physiotherapy. Due to high expenses it is difficult to implement this concept in outpatient care.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of a 4-week homebased CIMT program among chronic stroke patients and to compare them with a 2-week CIMT program, based on the original technique.


Seven adults with chronic stroke completed a newly developed variant of CIMT, performed at patients' homes (group1, CIMThome), supervised by an instructed family member, constraint of unaffected hand for a target of 60% of waking hours. The intervention was analysed with pre-, post-treatment and 6-month follow-up measurements. Effects on improvement in upper extremity function were compared with patients treated according to the original protocol (group2, CIMTclassic), supervised by a physiotherapist, constraint of unaffected hand for a target of 90% of waking hours.


Patients from both groups showed almost identical improvement of their motor function according to scores on the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) and the Motor Activity Log (MAL) immediately after the treatment period as well as at follow-up after 6 months.


Our study suggests that CIMThome is not only feasible but also as effective as CIMTclassic. This finding should be replicated in a larger prospective randomized trial to perform a non-inferiority analysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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