The effects of graded motor imagery and its components on phantom limb pain and disability in upper and lower limb amputees: a systematic review protocol

Katleho Limakatso, Lieselotte Corten, Romy Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature review

Abstract

Background: Phantom limb pain (PLP) is characterized by the anatomical shifting of neighbouring somatosensory and motor areas into a deafferented cortical area of the brain contralateral to the amputated limb. It has been shown that maladaptive neuroplasticity is positively correlated to the perception of PLP in amputees. Recent studies support the use of graded motor imagery (GMI) and its component to alleviate the severity of PLP and disability. However, there is insufficient collective empirical evidence exploring the effectiveness of these
treatment modalities in amputees with PLP. This systematic review will therefore explore the effects of GMI and its individual components on PLP and disability in upper and lower limb amputees.
Methods: We will utilize a customized search strategy to search PubMed, Cochrane Central register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, PEDro, Scopus, CINAHL, LILACS, DARE, Africa-Wide Information
and Web of Science. We will also look at clinicaltrials.gov (http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/), Pactr.gov (http://www.pactr.org/)
and EU Clinical trials register (https://www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu/) for ongoing research. Two independent reviewers will screen articles for methodological validity. Thereafter, data from included studies will be extracted by two independent reviewers through a customized pre-set data extraction sheet. Studies with a comparable intervention and outcome measure will be pooled for meta-analysis. Studies with high heterogeneity will be analysed through random effects model. A narrative data analysis will be considered where there is insufficient data to perform a meta-analysis.
Discussion: Several studies investigating the effectiveness of GMI and its different components on PLP have drawn contrasting conclusions regarding the efficacy and applicability of GMI in clinical practice. This systematic review will
therefore gather and critically appraise all relevant data, to generate a ubstantial conclusion and recommendations for clinical practice and research on this subject.
Original languageEnglish
Article number145
JournalSystematic Reviews
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

Keywords

  • Phantom limb pain
  • Graded Motor Imagery

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