Effectiveness of interactive computer play on balance and postural control for children with cerebral palsy: A systematic review

Tamis W. Pin (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Interactive computer play (ICP) becomes popular in rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy (CP). With the nature of ICP, it could be an effective intervention specifically to improve balance and postural control for children with CP. The present paper aimed to review the effectiveness of ICP on postural control and balance for children with CP. Methods: Electronic databases including Medline, AMED, EBSCOhost, PsycINFO, Embase, the Cochrane Library and the DARE were searched up to September 2018. Studies were included if (1) participants were aged under 18 and had CP, (2) ICP intervention was performed, (3) an explicit objective was postural control and balance of the participants, and (4) results were fully published in English-language peer-reviewed journals. Characteristics of study participants, ICP protocols and study results were extracted. Level of evidence of each studies was graded using the guidelines from the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine. Methodological quality was graded using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. Effect sizes were calculated on available data. Results: Twenty studies were included, with nine of level I or II evidence. Most studies had fair methodological rigor. Huge variations in the study designs and protocols of ICP were found among the studies. Conclusions: ICP seemed to be more effective than conventional therapy in improving postural control and balance, with medium to large effect sizes for children with mild to moderate severity of CP. Future studies of high methodological rigour are required to verify the role of on-site guidance of the children during ICP and the effect on children with more severe CP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-139
Number of pages14
JournalGait and Posture
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


  • Balance
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Children
  • Interactive computer play
  • Postural control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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