The aim of this review was to examine the efficacy of dance interventions for individuals with cerebral palsy (CP), measured at any level of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).
A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). A comprehensive search of peer-reviewed articles was performed using six electronic databases.
Fourteen studies were included in this review, nine of which were also included in the meta-analysis. The meta-analyses yielded a large overall effect for cognitive, motor, and social-emotional function outcomes, with a high degree of heterogeneity between outcome effects, attributable to differences in study design.
Although recent studies provide support for the acceptance and efficacy of dance interventions for people with CP, the systematic review revealed significant limitations in study design (only 2 randomised control trials). High-quality research that measures outcomes across all dimensions of the ICF, and particularly at the level of participation, are needed to improve the level of empirical support for dance-based interventions.
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