Standardized Outcomes Measures in Physical Therapy Practice for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Cerebral PALSY: A Systematic Review

J Pers Med. 2021 Jun 26;11(7):604. doi: 10.3390/jpm11070604.


Cerebral palsy (CP) treatment includes physical therapy and various complementary therapies to the standard clinical treatment. However, there are not many reviews that focus on the methods used and evaluation procedures. This study aims to analyze which tools are most suitable for the evaluation and methodology of patients with CP treated with physical therapy. Following the PRISMA statement, through a PICOS strategy, PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science (WOS), Scopus, Science Direct, and Scielo were searched with the following terms: cerebral palsy AND (physical therapy modalities OR therapeutics) AND outcome assessment. The methodological quality of the RCTs was assessed with the Evidence Project risk of bias tool. Thirty-seven RCTs and six RCT protocols, comprising 1359 participants with different types of CP: spastic hemiplegia/paresis, spastic diplegia/paresis, and spastic CP, met the inclusion criteria, uncovering 21 variables measured through 77 different instruments and several interventions. The therapies most widely used in CP are gaming or technology-assisted therapies, aerobic training, hippotherapy, music therapy, gait training, and aquatic exercises. This study provides an overview of what the authors used in the neurorehabilitation field through procedure evaluation and checking the technological advance that began to be used.

Keywords: cerebral palsy; outcome assessment; physical therapy.

Publication types

  • Review