The effect of supported standing in adults with upper motor neurone disorders: a systematic review

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Objectives:To evaluate whether supported standing can affect lower limb muscle length, spasticity, bone mineral density or the function of adults with upper motor neurone disorders.Data sources:A search was conducted of MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, CINAHL and Cochrane library electronic databases; clinical trial registers via and complemented with citation tracking.Review methods:Two reviewers independently evaluated eligibility and methodological quality. Class I and II studies of assisted standing for adults with stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury were eligible. A domain-based risk of bias approach was used to assess quality.Results:Seventeen studies were included: 11 class I and 6 class II studies involving 540 participants, of whom 73% were non-ambulant. Quality was generally low, with only two high quality trials identified. Highquality evidence suggested tilt-table standing has a small effect on preventing loss of ankle dorsiflexion. One high-quality study found a low-dose standing programme did not alter bone loss early after spinal injury. Class II low-quality evidence suggested long-term, higher dose programmes may slow bone loss. Limited evidence for the effectiveness of standing on spasticity and function was inconclusive.Conclusion:Supported standing can prevent small losses of ankle mobility but the clinical importance of these effects is uncertain. Low-dose standing is unlikely to protect bone health.

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