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Rivista di Medicina Fisica e Riabilitativa dopo Eventi Patologici

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Europa Medicophysica 2007 June;43(2):139-46

lingua: Inglese

The Constraint Induced Movement Therapy: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials on the adult stroke patients

Bonaiuti D., Rebasti L., Sioli P.

Department of Rehabilitation S. Gerardo Hospital, Monza, Milan, Italy


Aim. The aim of this study was to analyse the evidence of effectiveness on adult stroke patients of the Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), an original rehabilitation method that consists in strongly encouraging patients to use the affected arm, mainly immobilising the unaffected arm.
Methods. We only took into account the randomised controlled trials on CIMT where the experimental treatment was compared with a conventional treatment without any discrepancy of organization or session duration. As we could not measure the statistical significance of differences between treated and control patients, we compared their respective post-treatment percent changes and computed the minimal clinically important difference (MCID), defined as a change of at least 10% of the maximum score of the scale used.
Results. The literature search found 13 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), 4 of which were excluded because they aimed at comparing different intensity of CIMT. The 9 RCTs finally included into the review applied the CIMT in either acute, subacute or chronic stroke patients and according to different modalities. Findings were positive in all studies, but the MCID was reached only in smaller ones, which may have been influenced by patients’ characteristics.
Conclusion. Although all studies achieved positive results, it is impossible to draw any clear-cut conclusion on the effectiveness of the CIMT. The main limitations are the lack of homogeneity in the outcome measures used, the inadequacy of data provided and the small samples’ size. Multicentre studies, using robust outcome measures and considering both motor- and sensory-disabled patients are needed.

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