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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2003;(2):CD001920.

Physiotherapy treatment approaches for the recovery of postural control and lower limb function following stroke.

Author information

1
Stroke Therapy Evaluation Programme, Academic Department of Geriatric Medicine, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Level 3, Centre Block, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, G4 OSF. pollock@middleton4.freeserve.co.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There are a number of different approaches to physiotherapy treatment following stroke. Central to these are approaches based on 'neurophysiological' principles, 'motor learning' principles and 'orthopaedic' principles.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine if there is a difference in the recovery of postural control and lower limb function in patients with stroke if physiotherapy treatment is based on orthopaedic or neurophysiological or motor learning principles, or on a mixture of these treatment principles.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

This review drew on the search strategy developed by the Stroke Group as a whole. Relevant trials were identified in the Stroke Group Trials Register of Controlled Trials which was last searched in May 2001. We also searched the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (Cochrane Library, Issue 4 1999), MEDLINE (1966-1999), EMBASE (1980-1999) and CINAHL (1982-1999) and contacted experts and researchers with an interest in stroke.

SELECTION CRITERIA:

Studies - randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials. Participants - adults with a clinical diagnosis of stroke. Interventions - physiotherapy treatment approaches aimed at promoting the recovery of postural control and lower limb function. Outcomes - measures of disability, motor impairment or participation.

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

Two independent reviewers categorised the identified trials according to the inclusion/exclusion criteria, documented the methodological quality and extracted the data.

MAIN RESULTS:

Eleven trials were included in the review, three of which were included in two comparisons. Four trials compared a neurophysiological approach with another approach; four trials compared a motor learning approach with another approach; four studies compared a mixed approach with another approach; two trials reported comparisons of sub-groups of the same approach. A large number of heterogeneous outcome measures were used, limiting the comparison of trial results. No one type of approach had a significantly better outcome than any other type of approach.

REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS:

There is insufficient evidence to conclude that any one physiotherapy treatment approach is more effective than another in promoting the recovery of postural control or lower limb function.

PMID:
12804415
DOI:
10.1002/14651858.CD001920
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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