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

Thomas Bowman, Elisa Gervasoni, Chiara Arienti, Stefano Giuseppe Lazzerini, Stefano Negrini, Simona Crea, Davide Cattaneo, Maria Chiara Carrozza
2021 Sensors  
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
more » ... able 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.
doi:10.3390/s21103444 pmid:34063355 pmcid:PMC8156914 fatcat:u34ddmrlrrb73edqmzduiucobu