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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Efficacy of adhesive taping as an adjunt to physical rehabilitation to influence outcomes post-stroke: a systematic review


Grampurohit N, Pradhan SD, Kartin D



Publication Info:

Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 22(1):72-82


BACKGROUND: Adhesive taping as a therapeutic modality post-stroke has been investigated for two decades. No systematic review of the evidence to inform clinical practice exists.
OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the efficacy of adhesive taping as an adjunct to physical rehabilitation on outcomes related to body function and structure, activity, and participation post-stroke.
METHODS: The databases of PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Web of Science from 1966 through December 2013 were searched. Full-text articles in English from peer-reviewed journals reporting original research on the use of adhesive taping post-stroke were included. Two reviewers independently searched and then rated the quality of evidence using the PEDro evidence rating system. Randomized controlled trials were further assessed using the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) guidelines.
RESULTS: Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Two used elastic tape and 13 used rigid tape. The evidence quality ranged from poor to good, and included seven shoulder, one wrist, two hip, one knee, and four ankle studies. There were four good-quality studies.
CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary evidence in the domain of body function and structure suggests that use of rigid adhesive tape as an adjunct may increase the number of pain-free days at the shoulder. Evidence for the improvement of pain intensity, range of motion, muscle tone, strength, or function with taping is inconclusive. The evidence related to activity and participation is insufficient. The use of adhesive taping post-stroke needs further and more rigorous research to compare the types, methods and dosage of taping.

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