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Original report

Feasibility of whole body vibration therapy in individuals with dystonic or spastic dystonic cerebral palsy: A pilot study

Tamis W. Pin , Penelope B. Butler, Sheila Purves , Nathan Chi-Kwong Poon
Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 0000 Kowloon, Hong Kong. E-mail: tamis.pin@polyu.edu.hk
DOI: 10.2340/20030711-1000021

Abstract

Objective: To examine the feasibility and practicality of whole body vibration therapy for individuals with dystonic or spastic dystonic cerebral palsy.
Design: Pilot study.
Subjects: Children and adults with dystonic or spastic dystonic cerebral palsy.
Methods: Study participants received total body vibration therapy when standing still on a vibration platform for 3 bouts, duration 3-min, of vibration (20 Hz, 2 mm amplitude), 4 days per week for 4 weeks in addition to their usual therapy. All participants were assessed at baseline and completion of the study using the Gross Motor Function Measure Item Set, Timed Up and Go test, Barry-Albright Dystonia Scale, Edinburgh Visual Gait Score, and Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory.
Results: Ten participants (mean age 18.60 years (standard deviation (SD) 14.68); 9 males, Gross Motor Function Classification System level II–IV) completed the study with more than 90% attendance rate. All participants tolerated the protocol with no adverse events.
Conclusion: The vibration treatment protocol was feasible and safe for all participants. With no significant differences found in all the outcome measures, future studies with more rigorous study designs are required before this intervention is recommended for this population group.

Lay Abstract

The aim of this study was to test the feasibility and practicality of whole body vibration therapy for people with dystonic or spastic dystonic cerebral palsy. Study participants received total body vibration therapy when standing still on a vibration platform for 3 bouts, duration 3-min, of vibration (20 Hz, 2 mm amplitude), 4 days per week for 4 weeks in addition to their usual therapy. All participants were assessed at baseline and completion of the study using various tests of balance, walking and daily activities. Ten participants (9 males, 1 female) age range 6–42 years, who could walk un-aided or with walking aids, completed the study, with more than 90% attendance rate. All participants tolerated the treatment with no problems. The vibration treatment was feasible and safe for all participants. No differences were found in any of the tests performed after the treatment. More studies are therefore needed before this treatment is recommended for people with dystonic or spastic dystonic cerebral palsy.

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