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Open Access Effects of Physiotherapy Interventions on Balance in Multiple Sclerosis: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Objective: to determine the effects of physiotherapy interventions on balance in people with multiple sclerosis.

Data sources: A systematic literature search was conducted in Medline, cinahl, embase, PeDro, both electronically and by manual search up to March 2011.

Study selection: Randomized controlled trials of physiotherapy interventions in people with multiple sclerosis, with an outcome measure linked to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (icF) category of “changing and maintaining body position”, were included.

Data extraction: the quality of studies was determined by the van tulder criteria. Meta-analyses were performed in subgroups according to the intervention.

Data synthesis: After screening 233 full-text papers, 11 studies were included in a qualitative analysis and 7 in a metaanalysis. the methodological quality of the studies ranged from poor to moderate. Low evidence was found for the efficacy of specific balance exercises, physical therapy based on an individualized problem-solving approach, and resistance and aerobic exercises on improving balance among ambulatory people with multiple sclerosis.

Conclusion: These findings indicate small, but significant, effects of physiotherapy on balance in people with multiple sclerosis who have a mild to moderate level of disability. However, evidence for severely disabled people is lacking, and further research is needed.

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Keywords: BALANCE; EXERCISE TRAINING; MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS; PHYSIOTHERAPY; SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: October 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is the international peer-reviewed journal published in English, with at least 10 issues published per year.

    Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, special reports and letters to the editor are published, as also are editorials and book reviews. The journal strives to provide its readers with a variety of topics including: functional assessment and intervention studies, clinical studies in various patient groups, methodology in physical and rehabilitation medicine, epidemiological studies on disabling conditions and reports on vocational and sociomedical aspects of rehabilitation.

    The journal is read by a wide group of healthcare professionals including specialists in rehabilitation medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology, general medicine, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    Contributions from all parts of the world and from different professions in rehabilitation are welcome.

    ISI Impact Factor 2009: 1.882.

    Owned by Foundation of Rehabilitation Information.

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