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1. Citation: Cudejko, T., van der Esch, M., van der Leeden, M., Roorda, L. D., Pallari, J., Bennell, K. L., . . . Dekker, J. (2018). Effect of soft braces on pain and physical function in patients with knee osteoarthritis: Systematic review with meta-analyses. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 99(1), 137-143.
Keywords: Arthritis, devices, functional status, joints, limbs, literature reviews, musculoskeletal disorders, orthotics, outcomes, pain, rehabilitation technology
Abstract: Study systematically reviewed the evidence on the effects of soft braces on pain and on self-reported and performance-based physical function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, and PEDro databases were searched from inception to April 20, 2016 for relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and nonrandomized controlled trials (non-RCTs). Two reviewers independently screened articles and determined inclusion through predefined criteria. Eleven studies were identified, including 6 RCTs and 5 non-RCTs. Data related to participant demographics, study design and methods, interventions, and outcomes, including numerical means and standard deviations, were extracted by 1 reviewer. Methodological quality assessment was independently performed by 2 reviewers. The methodological quality of included RCTs was low. There was a moderate improvement in pain in favor of wearing a brace compared with not wearing a brace for the immediate, within-group comparison. There was a moderate improvement in pain and a small-to-moderate improvement in self-reported physical function in favor of patients receiving a soft brace versus standard care for the prolonged effect, between-group comparison. Currently available evidence indicates that soft braces have moderate effects on pain and small to moderate effects on self-reported physical function in knee osteoarthritis. These findings highlight the importance of soft braces as a technique to improve pain and physical function in both the short- and long-term. Additional high-quality studies are warranted to improve confidence in the findings.
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Record Updated:2018-10-22

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