Authors: Bilney B, Morris ME, Perry A
Title: Effectiveness of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Pathology for People with Huntington’s Disease: A Systematic Review
Source: Neurorehabilitation & Neural Repair 2003 17(1): 12-24
Year: 2003
Research Design: Systematic Review

This review provides a summary of the current literature examining the outcomes of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech pathology interventions for people with Huntington's disease. The literature was retrieved via a systematic search using a combination of key words that included Huntington's disease, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech pathology. The electronic databases for Medline, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, and PEDro were searched up to May 2002. Articles meeting the review criteria were graded for study type and rated for quality using checklists to assess study validity and methodology. The majority of articles that examined therapy outcomes for people with Huntington's disease were derived from observational studies of low methodological quality. A low level of evidence exists to support the use of physiotherapy for addressing impairments of balance, muscle strength, and flexibility. There was a small amount of evidence to support the use of speech pathology for the management of eating and swallowing disorders. The current evidence is insufficient to make strong recommendations regarding the usefulness of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or speech pathology for people with Huntington's disease. There is further need for therapy outcomes research in Huntington's disease so that clinicians may use evidence-based practice to assist clinical decision making.

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