Martineau S, Rahal A, Piette E, Moubayed S, Marcotte K. The “Mirror Effect Plus Protocol” for acute Bell’s palsy: A randomized controlled trial with 1-year follow-up. Clinical Rehabilitation. June 2022.
RÉSUMÉ (en anglais)
Objective: To study the effects of the “Mirror Effect Plus Protocol” (MEPP) on global facial function in acute and severe Bell’s Palsy.
Design: Single blind and randomized controlled trial to compare the effects of basic counselling (control group) vs MEPP (experimental group) over one year.
Setting: Outpatient clinic following referrals from Emergency or Otorhinolaryngology Departments.
Subjects: 40 patients (n=20 per group) with moderately severe to total palsy who received standard medication were recruited within 14 days of onset. Baseline characteristics were comparable between the groups.
Interventions: The experimental group received the MEPP program (motor imagery + manipulations + facial mirror therapy) while the control group received basic counselling. Both groups met the clinician monthly until 6 months and at one-year post-onset for assessments.
Outcome measures: Facial symmetry, synkinesis, and quality-of-life were measured using standardized scales. Perceived speech intelligibility was rated before and after therapy by naïve judges.
Results: Descriptive statistics demonstrated improvements in favor of the MEPP for each measured variable. Significant differences were found for one facial symmetry score (House-Brackmann 2.0 mean (SD) = 7.40 (3.15) for controls vs 5.1 (1.44) for MEPP), for synkinesis measures (p= 0.008) and for quality-of-life ratings (mean (SD) score = 83.17% (17.383) for controls vs 98.36% (3.608) for MEPP (p = 0,002)). No group difference was found for perceived speech intelligibility.
Conclusion: The MEPP demonstrates promising long-term results when started during the acute phase of moderately severe to total Bell’s Palsy.