Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Sabio, Cristan

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Nursing and Health Studies


In the United States, strokes are known to kill over 140,000 people every year and effect mobility in more than 50 percent of stroke survivors (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). It is a debilitating disease that befalls when blood vessels transporting nutrients to the brain are disrupted by a blood-clot or rupture of a vessel. While many rehabilitative therapies are available to those who have suffered from a stroke, there is one therapy that may benefit stroke survivors more than just conventional therapies. Mirror therapy (MT), a therapy that utilizes a mirror box to create an optical illusion, may be one way to help survivors to recover their lost motor functions. MT can aid rehabilitation by using a mirror to produce a reflection of a person’s unaffected limb in place of the affected limb when performing tasks. When the unaffected extremity is shifted, the mirror image allows the brain to believe that the affected limb is moving. These optical illusions allow the patients to feel as if their two extremities are moving symmetrically. This literature review focuses on how mirror therapy is utilized in practice today and if it should be incorporated as a conventional therapy for stroke rehabilitation. Peer reviewed journal articles have been dissected from the databases CINAHL Complete and MEDLINE. Through the review process, it was revealed that while mirror therapy on its own did not show any significant changes in overall motor functionality, mirror therapy in combination with conventional therapy has the potential to have statistically significant results.


13 pages




Northern Illinois University

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