Do any physiotherapy interventions increase spinal cord independence measure or functional independence measure scores in people with spinal cord injuries? A systematic review

Lisa A. Harvey*, Joanne V. Glinsky, Jackie Chu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Study design: Systematic review. Objective: To determine whether any physiotherapy interventions increase Spinal Cord Independence Measure or Functional Independence Measure scores (SCIM/FIM) in people with spinal cord injury (SCI), with the overall aim of determining whether any physiotherapy interventions need to be controlled for in studies examining the effects of novel experimental interventions on SCIM/FIM. Methods: A systematic review was conducted to identify all randomised controlled trials examining the effect of any physiotherapy intervention on SCIM/FIM in people with SCI. PEDro scores were used to rate risk of bias. The results of similar trials and comparisons were pooled using meta-analyses. Results: Thirty-three trials met the inclusion criteria but only 27 provided useable data. The median (IQR) PEDro score was 6.0 (4.0–7.0). A meta-analysis of four trials comparing robotic gait training with overground gait training that used a combination of FIM/SCIM indicated a pooled mean (95% CI) between-group difference of 0.38 standardised mean difference (SMD; 95% CI, 0.08–0.67). A second meta-analysis of two trials comparing upper limb training with and without functional electrical stimulation using FIM indicated a pooled (95% CI) between-group difference of 1.31 SMD (0.62–1.99). Another six trials examining a range of different physiotherapy interventions reported a statistically significant mean between-group difference on SCIM/FIM. Conclusion: There is low-quality evidence to indicate that a small number of physiotherapy interventions increase SCIM/FIM. The importance of controlling for all physiotherapy interventions in studies examining the effects of novel experimental interventions on SCIM/FIM is as yet unclear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-715
Number of pages11
JournalSpinal Cord
Volume59
Issue number7
Early online date7 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

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