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mirror therapy, nursing care, online counseling, phantom limb pain



  1. Yildirim, Meltem PhD, MSN, RN
  2. Sen, Sevim PhD, MSN, RN


ABSTRACT: In this case study, we investigated the efficacy of mirror therapy and online counseling in the management of phantom limb pain. The patient was a 28-year-old woman who experienced phantom limb pain after a traumatic transhumeral amputation three and a half months before initiating therapy. After a 40-minute educational session with a nurse researcher experienced in pain management and surgical nursing, the patient practiced mirror therapy at home for four weeks and kept in contact with the nurse using a mobile chat application. The patient scored the intensity of her pain before and after each practice session on a 0-to-10 numeric pain scale. The first week was difficult for her because of tiredness and the pain. In the second week she experienced less pain during the day than at night but claimed to feel much better than before. In the fourth week, she reported having difficulty sleeping, but she stated that her pain had decreased. The intensity of the pain didn't change following mirror therapy in the first week; however, her average pain score was 1.15 points lower after mirror therapy in the second week (from 4.57 to 3.42), and 1.57 points lower in the third and fourth weeks (from 5.42 to 3.85 and 4.85 to 3.28). Online counseling for mirror therapy is easy, economical, and time-saving for patient and nurse alike. However, physical and physiological problems experienced during this process may reduce the effectiveness of the therapy, highlighting the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to phantom limb pain management, which may include care from a psychologist, massage therapist, physiotherapist, and specialist in alternative therapies for relaxation, in addition to the surgeon and the nurse.