Effectiveness of Exercise on Functional Mobility in Adults with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review.

We identified evidence evaluating the effect of exercise on functional mobility in adults (aged 18 y or older) with cerebral palsy (CP). An exhaustive search was conducted using the electronic databases PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from the earliest available evidence (1975) to the present (January 2016) for studies whose participants were ambulatory adults with CP receiving conservative treatment to address functional mobility limitations. Two independent reviewers agreed on the eligibility, inclusion, and level of evidence of each study. The Maastricht-Amsterdam List (MAL) was used to assess evidence quality. Five of the six studies included were randomized controlled trials, and one was a pre-post case series. Interventions included whole-body vibration, treadmill training without body-weight support, rhythmic auditory stimulation, dynamic balance and gait activities, progressive resistance training, and interactive serious gaming for balance. All studies were considered high quality, as indicated by their MAL scores. Four studies showed no statistical difference and trivial effect sizes between the intervention and the control group. Rhythmic auditory stimulation and interactive serious gaming were found to be statistically significant in benefiting adults with CP. Evidence of the effect of exercise on functional mobility for ambulatory adults with CP is lacking. A need exists for quality research to determine the best interventions for adults with CP to maximize functional mobility.

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