Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) for acute and sub-acute stroke in Adults

Key Findings

CIMT/mCIMT had significant effects on arm motor function and activities of daily living in acute and sub-acute stroke. Constraint-induced movement therapy may be more beneficial than traditional rehabilitation therapy for improving upper limb function after acute or sub-acute stroke.


Liu XH, Huai J, Gao J, Zhang Y, Yue SW. Constraint-induced movement therapy in treatment of acute and sub-acute stroke: a meta-analysis of 16 randomized controlled trials. Neural Regen Res. 2017;12(9):1443-1450. doi:10.4103/1673-5374.215255



More EBP

ConditionStroke (CVA)
InterventionConstraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT)
VariablesAction research-arm test, Modified Barthel Index, Fugl-Meyer motor assessment
EvidenceGreen – Go
  • Green evidence (Go) –  high-quality evidence indicating effectiveness.
  • Yellow evidence (Caution/Measure) – insufficient evidence exists.
  • Red evidence (Stop) – high-quality evidence indicating ineffectiveness.



Before implementing any new intervention with a client, occupational therapy practitioners should be aware of the potential benefits, risks, and harms of the intervention. Occupational therapy practitioners should exercise professional reasoning based on the client’s particular strengths and limitations before providing any intervention. Professional reasoning and judgment is also required when choosing which intervention protocols are feasible for their clients.

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