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The effect of sensory discrimination training on sensorimotor performance in individuals with central neurological conditions: A systematic review

Posted on 2021-05-17 - 00:08
Objective

The aim of this systematic review was to investigate the efficacy of sensory discrimination training (SDT) on sensorimotor performance in individuals with a neurological condition affecting the central nervous system.

Methods

MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, AMED, CENTRAL, PsychINFO, Scopus, OT Seeker, PEDro, ETHOS, Web of Science and OpenGrey were systematically searched for appropriate randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Included studies were assessed for risk of bias, and the quality of the evidence was rated using the GRADE approach. The protocol was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42017055237).

Results

Six RCTs met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. All studies used manual tactile discrimination to retrain somatosensation. Somatosensory effect sizes (0.12–0.92) and motor function effect sizes (0.12–10.39) ranged from trivial to large with narrative analysis revealing some between-group difference in favour of the intervention group. However, the total sample size (n = 220) was relatively small, and the quality of the included studies was low.

Conclusions

SDT may have potential to be an efficacious treatment option for improving sensorimotor performance in individuals with neurological disease. However, at present there is limited evidence on which to base any firm clinical recommendations.

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