Use Of Lycra Based Orthoses For Children With Cerebral Palsy
Fitzgerald, T. (2013) Use Of Lycra Based Orthoses For Children With Cerebral Palsy, no. 88.
The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review to answer the research question: "Are lycra garments an effective form of orthotic treatment in children with cerebral palsy (CP)?" Various treatment options exist to help manage CP. Lycra garments claim to control abnormal tone, improve functional abilities and stabilise posture of people with neurological disorders (Blair et al. 1995, Hylton and Allen 1997). However, no systematic review has evaluated the evidence in this area. Search strategy The databases EBSCO host, Pubmed, Web of Knowledge, Web of Science, Scopus, Cochrane and NHS E-Library were searched with keywords from 1990 to February 2013 to identify articles. All study designs types were included, provided they met the inclusion criteria. Participants must be between 1-17 years, diagnosed with CP, can wear any type of lycra garment, having not worn a lycra garment previously. The Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) tool was utilised to rate the study's methodological quality. Results In total 8 articles were included. Improvements were shown in measures of function, movement and posture in all included studies while wearing the lycra garment. However, only 3 articles reported statistically significant results. Elliott et al. (2011) showed significant changes in movement substructures and motor performance. Nicolson et al. (2001) showed improvements in self-help (p<0.01), mobility (p<0.05) and social function (p<0.1). Blair et al. (1995) showed improvements in quality of upper limb movement (p=0.059) and posture (p=0.035). Many practical difficulties were noted in terms of donning and doffing the garment and toileting. Conclusion Lycra garments were shown to improve measures of function, posture and movement; however with the many methodological weaknesses it is difficult to appraise this treatment option. Future research is needed to make a truly evidenced base decision on whether lycra garments have a place in the clinical setting.