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Europa Medicophysica 2006 September;42(3):257-68

Copyright © 2006 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Constraint-induced movement therapy: characterizing the intervention protocol

Morris D. M. 1, Taub E. 2, Mark V. W. 3

1 Department of Physical Therapy School of Health Professions University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL, USA 2 Department of Psychology School of Social and Behavioral Sciences University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL, USA 3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL, USA


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Constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy) is a rehabilitation treatment approach that improves more-affected extremity use following a stroke, especially in the life situation. The originators of the approach describe CI therapy as consisting of a family of therapies including a number of treatment components and subcomponents. When thinking of CI therapy, rehabilitation researchers and clinicians frequently cite a restraining mitt on the less affected arm as the main active ingredient behind improvements in motor function. However, substantial data suggest that restraint makes actually a relatively small contribution to treatment outcome. This paper provides a detailed description of the multiple treatment elements included in the CI therapy protocol as used in our research laboratory. Our aim is to improve understanding of CI therapy and the research supporting its use.

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