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Research Article  |   May 2007
Mental Practice as a Gateway to Modified Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy: A Promising Combination to Improve Function
Author Affiliations
  • Stephen J. Page, PhD, FAHA, is Director of Research and Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati Academic Medical Center, and Director, Neuromotor Recovery and Rehabilitation Laboratory, Drake Rehabilitation Center, Cincinnati. Mailing address: Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cincinnati, 3202 Eden Avenue, Suite 275, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0394; Stephen.Page@uc.edu
  • Peter Levine, PTA, is Senior Research Assistant, University of Cincinnati Academic Medical Center, and Co-Director, Neuromotor Recovery and Rehabilitation Laboratory, Drake Rehabilitation Center, Cincinnati
  • Valerie Hill, MS, OTR/L, is Research Occupational Therapist, University of Cincinnati Academic Medical Center
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Neurologic Conditions / Stroke / Mental and Semantic Priming in Adult Motor Control
Research Article   |   May 2007
Mental Practice as a Gateway to Modified Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy: A Promising Combination to Improve Function
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2007, Vol. 61, 321-327. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.3.321
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2007, Vol. 61, 321-327. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.3.321
Abstract

Modified constraint-induced movement therapy (mCIMT) is a reimbursable regimen that improves the use and function of more-affected arms in patients who have had a stroke. To participate in this regimen, however, patients must exhibit active extension of the more-affected wrists and fingers, which renders many people ineligible. This study determined the efficacy of a mental practice program that preceded mCIMT in improving more-affected arm function in 4 patients with a stroke. Patients received therapy emphasizing activities of daily living (ADLs), followed by sessions of mental practice of the ADL. One week after completing mental practice, patients participated in mCIMT. After mental practice, patients exhibited marked changes on assessments and increased active wrist and finger extension, which qualified them for mCIMT. After mCIMT, participants exhibited additional functional gains, sustained 3 months later. Data suggest that mental practice provides a pathway whereby patients can participate in mCIMT, realize additional gains, and again perform valued ADLs.