A critical appraisal of "Neuromuscular electrical stimulation-assisted gait increases muscle strength and volume in children with unilateral spastic cerebral palsy"




Braden, Layne

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The purpose of this paper is to introduce the question if electrical stimulation can improve physiological aspects of muscles in CP patients. CP complications were mentioned and reasoning why this critical appraisal was necessary.

Using Pubmed, keywords, limitations, inclusions, and exclusions were incorporated to find an experimental design. Limitations for the search included CP patients, free full text, clinical trials, and a publication date limit. It was found the authors did this study at a credible institution in Australia. The next step was to determine if their methods and results were correlated in a way that had a good rationale for their study.

The findings found that after 8 and 14 weeks of NMES assisted gait to the treatment group and conventional physical therapy to the control group, there was significant differences. Next, appraisal of the introduction, methods, results, and discussion done by the authors was done. Strengths of this experiment include attention to detail in methods, explanation of tools used for measurements, quantitative details for all variables observed, and a through discussion. Weaknesses include generalization of findings, limitations of the experiment, and not explaining background information enough.

The importance of this question and critique is to make sure that NMES assisted gait is a reliable technique that can be used on CP patients. Also, the purpose is to see the other implications that can be added to this intervention to make improvements efficient. NMES is an easy intervention to do in most clinics and some learning curves may have to happen to perform this experiment. The benefits of NMES outweigh the risks in the clinical setting.