Review Article

The efficacy of kinesiology taping for improving gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy: A systematic review

Marianne Unger, Juan P. Carstens, Natasha Fernandes, Rulanda Pretorius, Suzelle Pronk, Ashleigh C. Robinson, Kara Scheepers
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 74, No 1 | a459 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v74i1.459 | © 2018 Marianne Unger, Juan Paul Carstens, Natasha Fernandes, Rulanda Pretorius, Suzelle Pronk, Ashleigh Candice Robinson, Kara Scheepers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 March 2018 | Published: 29 August 2018

About the author(s)

Marianne Unger, Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Juan P. Carstens, Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Natasha Fernandes, Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Rulanda Pretorius, Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Suzelle Pronk, Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Ashleigh C. Robinson, Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Kara Scheepers, Division of Physiotherapy, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Kinesiology taping is an increasingly popular technique used as an adjunct to physiotherapy intervention for children with cerebral palsy (CP), but as yet we do not have a review of the available evidence as to its efficacy.

Objectives: To critically appraise and establish best available evidence for the efficacy of truncal application of kinesiology taping combined with physiotherapy, versus physiotherapy alone, on gross motor function (GMF) in children with CP.

Method: Seven databases were searched using the terms CP, kinesio taping and/or kinesiology tape and/or taping, physiotherapy and/or physical therapy and GMF. Only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) were included and appraised using the PEDro scale. Revman© Review Manager was used to combine effects for GMF in sitting, standing and activities of daily living.

Results: Five level IIB RCTs that scored 3–6/8 on the PEDro scale were included. Meta-analysis showed that taping was effective for improving GMF in sitting and standing as measured by the Gross Motor Function Measure (B) (p < 0.001) and (D) (p < 0.001), respectively.

Conclusion: There is moderate evidence to support kinesiology taping applied to the trunk as an effective intervention when used as an adjunct to physiotherapy to improve GMF in children with CP, especially those with GMF Classification Scale levels I and II, and particularly for improving sitting control.

Clinical implications: Kinesiology taping is a useful adjunct to physiotherapy intervention in higher functioning children with CP. Current evidence however is weak and further research into methods of truncal application is recommended.


Keywords

kinesiology taping; cerebral palsy; spastic diplegia; gross motor function; sitting; standing

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