Effects of different lower-limb sensory stimulation strategies on postural regulation-a Systematic review and metaanalysis

Mei Teng Woo, Keith Davids, Jarmo Liukkonen, Dominic Orth, Jia Yi Chow, Timo Jaakkola

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Systematic reviews of balance control have tended to only focus on the effects of single lower-limb stimulation strategies, and a current limitation is the lack of comparison between different relevant stimulation strategies. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine evidence of effects of different lower-limb sensory stimulation strategies on postural regulation and stability. Moderate- to high-pooled effect sizes (Unbiased (Hedges' g) standardized mean differences (SMD) = 0.31-0.66) were observed with the addition of noise in a Stochastic Resonance Stimulation Strategy (SRSS), in three populations (i.e., healthy young adults, older adults, and individuals with lower-limb injuries), and under different task constraints (i.e., unipedal, bipedal, and eyes open). A Textured Material Stimulation Strategy (TMSS) enhanced postural control in the most challenging condition-eyes-closed on a stable surface (SMD = 0.61), and in older adults (SMD = 0.30). The Wearable Garments Stimulation Strategy (WGSS) showed no or adverse effects (SMD = -0.68-0.05) under all task constraints and in all populations, except in individuals with lower-limb injuries (SMD = 0.20). Results of our systematic review and meta-analysis revealed that future research could consider combining two or more stimulation strategies in intervention treatments for postural regulation and balance problems, depending on individual needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0174522
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2017


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