Wearable devices for biofeedback rehabilitation: A systematic review and meta-analysis to design application rules and estimate the effectiveness on balance and gait outcomes in neurological diseases

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Wearable devices are used in rehabilitation to provide biofeedback about biomechanical or physiological body parameters to improve outcomes in people with neurological diseases. This is a promising approach that influences motor learning and patients’ engagement. Nevertheless, it is not yet clear what the most commonly used sensor configurations are, and it is also not clear which biofeedback components are used for which pathology. To explore these aspects and estimate the effectiveness of wearable device biofeedback rehabilitation on balance and gait, we conducted a systematic review by electronic search on MEDLINE, PubMed, Web of Science, PEDro, and the Cochrane CENTRAL from inception to January 2020. Nineteen randomized controlled trials were included (Parkinson’s n = 6; stroke n = 13; mild cognitive impairment n = 1). Wearable devices mostly provided real-time biofeedback during exercise, using biomechanical sensors and a positive reinforcement feedback strategy through auditory or visual modes. Some notable points that could be improved were identified in the included studies; these were helpful in providing practical design rules to maximize the prospective of wearable device biofeedback rehabilitation. Due to the current quality of the literature, it was not possible to achieve firm conclusions about the effectiveness of wearable device biofeedback rehabilitation. However, wearable device biofeedback rehabilitation seems to provide positive effects on dynamic balance and gait for PwND, but higher-quality RCTs with larger sample sizes are needed for stronger conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3444
JournalSensors
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2 2021

Keywords

  • Biofeedback
  • Force sensors
  • Gait
  • Inertial measurement unit
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Postural balance
  • Rehabilitation
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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