EFFECTS OF VISUAL FEEDBACK THERAPY ON POSTURAL CONTROL IN BILATERAL STANDING AFTER STROKE: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
Objective: To establish whether bilateral standing with visual feedback therapy after stroke improves postural control compared with conventional therapy and to evaluate the generalization of the effects of visual feedback therapy on gait and gait-related activities.Design: A systematic review.Methods: A computer-aided literature search was performed. Randomized controlled trials and controlled clinical trials, comparing visual feedback therapy with conventional balance treatments were included up to April 2005. The methodological quality of each study was assessed with the the Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale. Depending on existing heterogeneity, studies with a common variable of outcome were pooled by calculating the summary effect-sizes using fixed or random effects models.Results: Eight out of 78 studies, presenting 214 subjects, were included for qualitative and quantitative analysis. The methodological quality ranged from 3 to 6 points. The meta-analysis demonstrated non-significant summary effect-sizes in favour of visual feedback therapy for weight distribution and postural sway, as well as balance and gait performance, and gait speed.Conclusion: The additional value of visual feedback therapy in bilateral standing compared with conventional therapy shows no statistically significant effects on symmetry of weight distribution between paretic and non-paretic leg, postural sway in bilateral standing, gait and gait-related activities. Visual feedback therapy should not be favoured over conventional therapy. The question remains as to exactly how asymmetry in weight distribution while standing is related to balance control in patients with stroke.