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Physiother Can. 2016;68(4):367-376.

Influence of Exercise on Patients with Guillain-Barré Syndrome: A Systematic Review.

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Rehabilitation Science in Physical Therapy Program, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal.


in English, French

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of exercise interventions on improving physical outcomes in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). Methods: The PubMed database was searched for articles published up to and including February 2015. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs), case reports, and quasi-experimental and single-subject designs published in English-language, peer-reviewed journals that assessed the impact of physical exercise on patients with GBS were included; study quality was assessed using Sackett's rules of evidence. Data are presented qualitatively and quantitatively using numerical values and percentages. Results: Seven articles were included in the systematic review. One RCT showed that high-intensity relative to lower intensity exercise significantly reduced disability in patients with GBS, as measured with the FIM (p<0.005, r=0.71). Overall, various types of exercise programmes improve physical outcomes such as functional mobility, cardiopulmonary function, isokinetic muscle strength, and work rate and reduce fatigue in patients with GBS. Conclusion: Because of insufficient high-quality literature, making confident conclusions about the effects of exercise interventions on physical outcomes in patients with GBS is not possible. Future research should consider using higher quality study designs to confirm the results outlined in this article.


Guillain-Barré syndrome; exercise; physical exertion; rehabilitation; systematic review

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