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Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012 Nov-Dec;26(9):1035-45. doi: 10.1177/1545968312446003. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

Reduced-intensity modified constraint-induced movement therapy versus conventional therapy for upper extremity rehabilitation after stroke: a multicenter trial.

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University of Verona, Verona, Italy.



Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) is a rehabilitation approach for arm paresis consisting of an intensive schedule of treatment (6 h/d). The high demand of resources for CIMT is a critical issue for its implementation in the Italian health system.


To compare the effects of a reduced-intensity modified CIMT (mCIMT) program that included splinting the unaffected arm for 12 hours daily with the effects of a conventional rehabilitation program for arm paresis in patients with stroke.


Sixty-six participants with hemiparesis (3-24 months poststroke) who could extend the wrist and several fingers at least 10° were randomly assigned to mCIMT or conventional rehabilitation. Each group underwent 10 (2 h/d) treatment sessions (5 d/wk for 2 weeks). Patients were assessed with the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT-FA and WMFT-T), the Motor Activity Log (MAL-AOU and MAL-QOM), and the Ashworth Scale before and after treatment and 3 months later.


Between-groups analysis showed that the mCIMT group overall had greater improvement than the control group in terms of the WMFT-FA (P = .010), MAL-AOU (P < .001), and MAL-QOM (P < .001). Differences between groups were significant both after treatment (P < .01) and at the 3-month follow-up (P < .01), although 40% of participants did not complete the 3-month assessment. Furthermore, the mCIMT group showed a greater decrease of Ashworth Scale score than the control group at 3 months (P = .021).


Two hours of CIMT may be more effective than conventional rehabilitation in improving motor function and use of the paretic arm in patients with chronic stroke.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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