Objective: We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the effects of whole-body vibration on physiologic and functional measurements in children with cerebral palsy.
Design and methods: We searched MEDLINE, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, EMBASE, Scielo, CINAHL (from the earliest date available to November 2014) for randomized controlled trials, that aimed to investigate the effects of whole-body vibration versus exercise and/or versus control on physiologic and functional measurements in children with cerebral palsy. Two reviewers independently selected the studies. Weighted mean differences (WMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated.
Results: Six studies with 176 patients comparing whole-body vibration to exercise and/or control were included. Whole-body vibration resulted in improvement in: gait speed WMDs (0.13 95% CI: 0.05 to 0.20); gross motor function dimension E WMDs (2.97 95% CI: 0.07 to 5.86) and femur bone density (1.32 95% CI: 0.28 to 2.36). The meta-analysis also showed a nonsignificant difference in muscle strength and gross motor function dimension D for participants in the whole-body vibration compared with control group. No serious adverse events were reported.
Conclusions: Whole-body vibration may improve gait speed and standing function in children with cerebral palsy and could be considered for inclusion in rehabilitation programs.