Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Systematic Review
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Effectiveness of vestibular rehabilitation on postural balance in Parkinson's disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

BMC Neurology 2024 May 15
INTRODUCTION: Postural balance impairment can affect the quality of life of patients with Parkinson's disease. Previous studies have described connections of the vestibular system with postural functions, suggesting a potential participation of the basal ganglia in receiving vestibular stimuli. This systematic review aims to summarize the evidence on the effectiveness of vestibular rehabilitation on postural balance in patients with Parkinson's disease.

METHODS: A systematic review was conducted using the electronic databases: PubMed, Embase, Scopus and PEDro. The study selection was independently conducted by two reviewers, and disagreements were evaluated by a third reviewer. The included studies had no restrictions on publication dates or languages and the last update occurred in July 2023.

RESULTS: From the 485 studies found in the searches, only 3 studies were deemed eligible for the systematic review involving a total of 130 participants. The Berg Balance Scale was described as the tool for evaluation of postural balance in all studies. The meta-analysis showed statistically significant results in favor of vestibular rehabilitation (MD = 5.35; 95% CI = 2.39, 8.31; P < 0.001), regardless of the stage of Parkinson's disease. Although the effect size was suggested as a useful functional gain, the analysis was done with caution, as it only included 3 randomized controlled trials. The risk of bias using the RoB-2 was considered as being of "some concern" in all studies. Furthermore, the quality of the evidence based on the Grading of Recommendations Assessment Development and Evaluation system, produced by pooling the included studies was considered very low.

CONCLUSION: Compared to other interventions, vestibular rehabilitation has potential to assist the postural balance of patients with Parkinson's disease. However, the very low quality of the evidence demonstrates uncertainty about the impact of this clinical practice. More robust studies are needed to confirm the benefits of this therapy in patients with Parkinson's disease. This study was prospectively registered in PROSPERO: CRD42020210185.

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