Article Review on Constraint Induced Movement Therapy

Resource: Rowe, V., Blanton, S., & Wolf, S. (2009). Long-term follow-up after constraint-induced therapy: A case report of a chronic stroke survivor. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63 (3).

Constraint-induced therapy typically is geared toward CVA patients who have mild to moderate hemiparesis. It consists of restraining the less-involved upper extremity to promote massed practice of the more-involved upper extremity. This study looks at the long-term effects of constraint-induced therapy. The researchers of this study examined a 36-year-old female who participated in constraint induced therapy for 2 weeks following a CVA. They used a pre-test post-test design and completed a pre-test to determine her baseline abilities then again 4 and 5 years after she participated in this type of therapy. The outcome measures used were the Wolf Motor Function Test, Stroke Impact Scale, and Motor Activity Log. The participant did experience improvements in use of the affected hand, decreased time to complete functional tasks, and improved physical aspects of health-related quality of life. The researchers noted that fatigue played a big role with this participant, and should be addressed in future studies. They concluded that constraint induced therapy improves upper extremity function over a 5 year span, but post-stroke fatigue was a potential limiting factor.

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