The effects of physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercise on idiopathic scoliosis in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Kaiyue Ma, Chao Wang, Yajun Huang, Yu Wang, Dongsheng Li, Gang He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercise (PSSE) is recommended by SOSORT as the first step in the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS). However, a thorough summary and meta-analysis of the evidence for the effectiveness of PSSE is lacking.

Objective: To summarise the up-to-date evidence on the efficacy of PSSE in AIS compared with the other non-surgical therapies.

Data sources: The PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane, Scopus, Embase and CNKI databases were systematically searched from 1 January 2012 to 1 November 2022.

Study selection: Controlled trials comparing the effects of PSSE and other non-surgical therapies on improving Cobb angle and quality of life in young people aged 6–18 years were included.

Data Synthesis: Three researchers independently extracted data and evaluated methodological quality. Meta-analysis was performed where possible; otherwise, descriptive syntheses were reported.

Results: Seventeen studies with a total of 930 participants (76% female) were included. Among them, ten studies were RCTs. Six studies were of excellent quality. Thirteen studies were included in the meta-analysis. PSSE corrected the Cobb angle in patients better than other non-surgical therapies (I2 = 82%, MD = -2.82, 95%CI = -4.17 – -1.48, P < 0.01). PSSE was more effective than brace in improving patients’ pain, self-image and mental health. Patients with a Risser grade of 0 to 3 or who had never received brace therapy had better outcomes.

Conclusion: Evidence from better-quality studies suggests that PSSE was superior to general exercise and conventional therapy for correcting the Cobb angle in AIS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-57
Number of pages12
JournalPhysiotherapy
Volume121
Early online date24 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Meta-analysis
  • Physiotherapeutic scoliosis-specific exercise
  • Scoliosis

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