CI therapy is a family of techniques that has systematically applied intensive treatment daily over consecutive days, supervised motor training using a technique called shaping, behavioral strategies to improve the use of the more- affected limb in real life situations called a Transfer Package (TP), and strategies to remind participants to use the more-affected extremity; including restraint of the less-affected arm in the upper extremity (UE) protocol. Numerous studies examining use of CI therapy with UE rehabilitation have demonstrated robust evidence for increasing the amount and the quality of the paretic UE functional use in daily situations of individuals recovering from stroke. Previous studies have explored the barriers for clinical implementation of the approach, including the amount of time needed by therapists, other resources required and lack of payment for the services. With regards to therapists' time/resources, in the signature CI therapy protocol, therapists supervised movement training for 3 hours daily (except for weekends) for a 12 consecutive-day period. This level of supervision in highly unusual for traditional rehabilitation clinical settings. The treatment schedule is also incompatible with most insurance reimbursement policies in the US. As such, most CI therapy clinics require patients to pay privately with little or no insurance reimbursement. Such practices severely limit the number of patients who can afford to receive CI therapy. Two lines of evidence have suggested that an alternative CI therapy protocol may allow for the essential (or "Key") CI therapy elements to be delivered in a schedule that better utilizes therapist time/resources and is compatible with payment policies of many US insurance companies. One line of evidence comes from findings that indicate that the original 6-hour supervised training schedule could be shortened to as little as 2-hours/daily without a reduction in outcomes. Additional evidence comes from a study exploring the systematic addition and deletion of the signature CI therapy protocol elements indicated that when the transfer package was omitted, outcomes related to functional use were reduced by 50%. These findings were also verified by brain imaging studies conducted concurrently that revealed a much-reduced level of brain remodeling in those not receiving the transfer package. These findings highlight the potential effectiveness of the transfer package and continued movement training by the patient while away from clinical supervision. The hypothesis of this study is that the amount of supervised training could be reduced further and delivered in a distributed schedule (1 to 4 times/ week over an 8-week period) instead of consecutively over a 12-day treatment period. This modification could be possible by adapting and strengthening the transfer package component of the protocol. In order to investigate if all of the Keys intervention protocol is necessary for producing optimal outcomes, the delivery of specific protocol elements will be also explored. Additionally, another round of testing at the 4-week point of the 8-week intervention will be administered to investigate the need for the final 4 weeks of the intervention.



Eligible Ages
Over 18 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

  • At least 6 months after stroke - Ability to demonstrate minimum movement criteria of more-affected UE including 10 degrees of wrist extension (starting from a fully flexed position), 10 degrees of thumb abduction, and 10 degrees of extension of two additional fingers at all joints - Score <2.5 on the MAL indicating significant functional deficits of the more-affected UE

Exclusion Criteria

  • Inability to answer the MAL questions and/or provide informed consent - Score <24 on the Mini-Mental State Examination - No availability to come to the clinic for the sessions.

Study Design

Study Type
Intervention Model
Single Group Assignment
Primary Purpose
None (Open Label)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Keys intervention
All participants will receive the Keys CI Therapy protocol over an 8-week intervention period.
  • Behavioral: Keys Constraint-induced Movement Therapy protocol
    All participants will receive the Keys CI Therapy protocol over an 8-week intervention period. Specific CI therapy strategies will be delivered, including: 1) supervised movement training will be carried out for 1 hour for 4 days/week for the first 4 weeks, 2 days/week for weeks 5 and 6, and 1 day/week for weeks 7 and 8; 2) participants will use the restraint mitt on their less-affected UE for most of their waking hours for an 8 week period; 3) transfer package methods will be modified to accommodate the longer time period between clinic visits; and 4) participants will be asked to independently perform additional movement training for 30 minutes each day at home.

More Details

Active, not recruiting
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Study Contact


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.