Effects of whole-body vibration on sensorimotor performance in people with parkinson disease: A systematic review

Ricky W.K. Lau, Tilda Teo, Felix Yu, Raymond C.K. Chung, Marco Yiu Chung Pang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Earlier studies show that whole-body vibration (WBV) has beneficial effects on neuromuscular performance in older adults and may be a viable treatment option for people with Parkinson disease (PD). Purpose. This systematic review was aimed at determining whether WBV improves sensorimotor performance in people with PD. Data Sources. The sources used in this review were MEDLINE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Excerpta Medica database (EMBASE), the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) (last searched in April 2010). Study Selection. Randomized and nonrandomized controlled studies examining the effects of WBV in people with PD were selected. Six studies fulfilled the selection criteria and were included in this review. Data Extraction. The PEDro score was used to evaluate methodological quality. The effects of WBV on various sensorimotor outcomes were noted. Data Synthesis. Methodological quality was rated as good for 1 study (PEDro score of 6), fair for 4 studies (PEDro score of 4 or 5), and poor for 1 study (PEDro score of 2). Two studies showed that, compared with no intervention, WBV treatment led to significant reductions in tremor and rigidity, as measured with the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). The findings for other UPDRS cluster scores were conflicting, however. Two studies showed that longer-term WBV (3-5 weeks) did not result in better sensorimotor outcomes than conventional exercise training. Limitations. The studies reviewed here are limited by their methodological weaknesses and small, heterogeneous samples. Conclusions. There is insufficient evidence to prove or refute the effectiveness of WBV in enhancing sensorimotor performance in people with PD (ie, grade D recommendations). More good-quality trials are needed to establish the clinical efficacy of WBV in improving sensorimotor function in people with PD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-209
Number of pages12
JournalPhysical Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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