Purpose: Identify the types and dosage of vestibular stimulation interventions in persons with cerebral palsy (CP), and establish the efficacy of these interventions on balance and function.
Materials and Methods: This systematic review followed Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Protocols to search for studies evaluating vestibular stimulation interventions in persons with CP. Information sources included MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, clinicaltrials.gov and the World Health Organisation registry. Methodological quality was assessed by two independent reviewers using the Methodological Index of Non-Randomised Studies (MINORS) and Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool.
Results: Five articles were included. Three randomised studies were judged to have high risk of bias in at least one domain of the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool. Two non-randomised studies were rated as low methodological quality using the MINORS tool. All studies used exercise-based vestibular stimulation, but there was little homogeneity regarding dosage. Findings related to efficacy of vestibular stimulation were inconsistent.
Conclusions: Clinical practice recommendations cannot be made due to lack of high quality studies and heterogeneity of treatment protocols. Future research should address theory-driven selection of intervention, establish dosage, use psychometrically robust tools and include all ages of persons with CP.