A clinical framework for mirror therapy in patients with phantom limb pain

The purpose of this study was to describe the development and content of a clinical framework for mirror therapy (MT) in patients with phantom limb pain (PLP) following amputation.

Based on an a priori formulated theoretical model, 3 sources of data collection were used to develop the clinical framework: a literature review, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. All data were finally clustered into main and subcategories and were used to complement and refine the theoretical model.

For every main category of the a priori formulated theoretical model, several subcategories emerged from the literature search, patient, and therapist interviews. Based on these categories, a clinical flowchart was developed that incorporated the main and subcategories in a logical way according to the phases in methodical intervention defined by the Royal Dutch Society for Physical Therapy. In addition, the authors developed a comprehensive booklet that illustrates the individual steps of the clinical flowchart.

In this study, a structured clinical framework for the application of MT in patients with PLP was developed. This framework is currently being tested for its effectiveness in a multicenter randomized controlled trial.

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