Effects of Mirror Therapy on the upper Limb Functionality: A study on the perception of Occupational Therapists

António Arsénio Duarte (Teachers of the Beja Polytechnic Institute, Portugal)
Ana Paula Martins (Teachers of the Beja Polytechnic Institute, Portugal)
Djanira Gomes (Graduating Students of the Degree in Occupational Therapy of Beja Polytechnic Institute, Portugal)
João Fragoso (Graduating Students of the Degree in Occupational Therapy of Beja Polytechnic Institute, Portugal)
Joyce Amado (Graduating Students of the Degree in Occupational Therapy of Beja Polytechnic Institute, Portugal)
Pedro Rosa (Graduating Students of the Degree in Occupational Therapy of Beja Polytechnic Institute, Portugal)

Abstract


With the visual illusion of the mirror, Mirror Therapy, models the primary somatosensory cortex, cortical and muscular excitability, stimulating cortical reorganization and sensorimotor recovery. Studies have shown to be effective in improving motor function in short and medium term, in activities of daily living, in visuospatial neglect and in reducing pain, especially in patients with complex regional pain syndrome. Objective: To report the perception of Occupational Therapists regarding the application of Mirror Therapy in professional practice. Specifically, what factors lead to its application, what are the effects and benefits of the technique, what are its advantages and limitations. Results: In the perception of Occupational Therapists, the Mirror Therapy technique has the following benefits: significant decrease in pain, improved sensitivity and functionality of the upper limb, unblocking movements in the affected limb, decreased phantom pain; as negative aspects: difficulties in spatial / environmental control, patient's perceptual / cognitive skills, high level of concentration / attention, absence of scientific evidence in neurological conditions. Conclusion: For the interviewed Occupational Therapists, the Mirror Therapy is a safe and useful technique to be applied in your professional practice that has been showing positive results in the functional recovery of patients, however, it lacks studies that identify the appropriate time to start its application and the explanation of an intervention protocol.


Keywords


Occupational Therapy; Mirror Therapy; Upper Limb Functionality; Rehabilitation

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jgm.v2i3.2427

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