The objective of this study was to explore the long-term benefits of shortened constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) in the subacute phase poststroke. The design was a 1-year follow-up after shortened CIMT (3h training/d for 2 wk) where the participants had been randomized to a mitt group or a nonmitt group. Poststroke patients (N=20, 15 men, 5 women; mean age 58.8 y; on average 14.8 mo poststroke) with mild to moderate impairments of hand function participated. One year after shortened CIMT, participants within both the mitt group and the nonmitt group showed statistically significant improvements in arm and hand motor performance and on self-reported motor ability compared with before and after treatment. No significant differences between the groups were found in any measure at any time.
Shortened CIMT seems to be beneficial up to 1 year after training, but the restraint may not enhance upper motor function. To determine which components of CIMT are most effective, larger randomized studies are needed