OBJECTIVE: The aim of this systematic review is to critically assess the effectiveness of vestibular rehabilitation (VR) administered either alone or in combination with other neurorehabilitation strategies in patients with neurologic disorders.
DATA SOURCES: An electronic search was conducted by 2 independent reviewers in the following databases: MEDLINE (PubMed), the Physiotherapy Evidence Database, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
STUDY SELECTION: All clinical studies carried out on adult patients with a diagnosis of neurologic disorders who performed VR provided alone or in combination with other therapies were included.
DATA EXTRACTION: Screening of titles, abstracts, and full texts and data extraction were undertaken independently by pairs of reviewers. Included studies were quality appraised using a modified version of the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.
DATA SYNTHESIS: The summary of results was reported following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Twelve studies were included in the review. All the included studies, with 1 exception, report that improvements provided by customized VR in subject affected by a central nervous system diseases are greater than traditional rehabilitation programs alone.
CONCLUSIONS: Because of the lack of high-quality studies and heterogeneity of treatments protocols, clinical practice recommendations on the efficacy of VR cannot be made. Results show that VR programs are safe and could easily be implemented with standard neurorehabilitation protocols in patients affected by neurologic disorders. Hence, more high-quality randomized controlled trials of VR in patients with neurologic disorders are needed.