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Vol. 23. Issue 3.
Pages 196-211 (01 May 2019)
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Vol. 23. Issue 3.
Pages 196-211 (01 May 2019)
Systematic Review
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.09.005
Current evidence does not support whole body vibration in clinical practice in children and adolescents with disabilities: a systematic review of randomized controlled trial
Hércules Ribeiro Leitea,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: Departamento de Fisioterapia, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Reabilitação e Desempenho Funcional (PPGReab), Centro Integrado de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação em Saúde – CIPq-Saúde, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri, Rodovia MGT 367, Km 583, Alto da Jacuba, n° 5000 – CEP 39100-000, Diamantina, MG, Brazil.
, Ana Cristina Resende Camargosb, Vanessa Amaral Mendonçaa, Ana Cristina Rodrigues Lacerdaa, Bruno Alvarenga Soaresa, Vinicius Cunha Oliveiraa
a Discipline of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal dos Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri (UFVJM), Diamantina, MG, Brazil
b Discipline of Physical Therapy, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

  • WBV alone showed limited evidence compared to minimal intervention.

  • Additional effect of WBV seems to decrease deficiencies and activity limitations.

  • New expensive interventions need to be followed by scientific evidence.

  • Very-low to low quality of evidence suggests caution in recommending WBV.

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Tables (2)
Table 1. Descriptive data of the included trials (n=15).
Table 2. PEDro scores of included trials (n=15).
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Whole body vibration has been used alone or combined with other interventions in rehabilitation of children and adolescents with disabilities; however, there is limited evidence to support this approach.


To review the strength, quality, and conclusiveness of evidence supporting the use of whole body vibration in children and adolescents with disabilities.


Electronic database search included Medline, AMED, Embase, Cochrane, SportDiscus, CINAHL and PEDro from the inception to June 2018. Studies investigating the effects of whole body vibration, alone or combined with other interventions, compared to minimal intervention or other interventions were included. The outcomes measured were: body structure and function (lean body mass, bone mineral density, knee muscle strength and overall stability) and activity and participation (gait speed, walking distance, gross motor function, self-care and mobility).


Fifteen randomized trials involving 403 participants were included. Methodological quality of eligible trials was moderate (mean of 5.5 points on the 10-point PEDro scale). Overall, whole body vibration was no better than minimal intervention. In all comparisons where additional effect of whole body vibration was better than other interventions, the effect size ranged from low to high in the trials, but ranged from very-low to low quality at short and medium-term follow-up. Sensitivity analysis for health condition and low-quality studies showed impact on trunk bone mineral density of additional effect of whole body vibration at medium-term compared to other interventions.


The low to very-low quality of evidence suggests caution in recommending the use of this approach. New studies could change the findings of this review. PROSPERO registration: CRD42017060704.

Whole body vibration


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