Conclusiveness of the Cochrane reviews in physiotherapy: a systematic analysis




Poster session 2


Monday 17 September 2018 - 12:30 to 14:00

All authors in correct order:

Momosaki R1, Tsuboi M2, Yasufuku Y3, Furudate K4, Kamo T5, Uda K6, Tanaka Y7, Abo M2
1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Teikyo University School of Medicine University Hospital, Mizonokuchi, Japan
2 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Japan
3 Faculty of Health Sciences, Kyoto Tachibana University, Japan
4 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Hirosaki University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan
5 Department of Physical Therapy, School of Health Sciences, Japan University of Health Sciences, Japan
6 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Economics, School of Public Health, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Japan
7 Department of Anesthesiology, Nara Medical University, Japan
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Ryo Momosaki

Contact person:

Abstract text
There are numerous Cochrane Reviews in the field of physiotherapy. However, there is no updated review focused on available Cochrane Reviews in physiotherapy.

Our purpose is to describe the conclusiveness of evidence from Cochrane Reviews with an overview regarding physiotherapy.

We conducted a systematic scoping review that included all Cochrane Reviews in the field of physiotherapy between 2008 and 2017. We conducted a systematic electronic search of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in the Cochrane Library. We also performed narrative synthesis of the following data: year of publication, editorial group, number of articles meeting the criteria, number of participants enrolled, conclusiveness, and need for additional studies. Furthermore, by using linear regression we will determine whether the percentage of conclusive reviews was affected by the year of publication.

We found 283 Cochrane Reviews in the field of physiotherapy, only 16 (5.7%) of which were conclusive. The majority of reviews were published by the Musculoskeletal Group (32/283); Back and Neck Group (28/283); Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group (28/283), and the Stroke Group (28/283). The number of trials and participants enrolled in conclusive review were significantly higher than those in inconclusive review (P < 0.001). The percentage of conclusive reviews was not affected by year of publication. Almost all of reviews recognized the need for additional studies.

Most Cochrane Reviews in physiotherapy are inconclusive and most of them emphasize the need for further research. The ability for a Cochrane Review to reach a conclusion is affected by the cumulative participant sample size and number of trials included in the analysis.

Patient or healthcare consumer involvement:


Relevance to patients and consumers: 

We investigated conclusiveness of the Cochrane Reviews in physical therapy. There are numerous Cochrane Reviews in the field of physiotherapy. These reviews have been published sporadically by various groups and the entire structure cannot be grasped comprehensively. However, There is no updated review focused on available Cochrane Reviews in physiotherapy. We aim to clarify the range of reviews that provide a meaningful therapeutic recommendation in physical therapy. The current review will provide enough information about conclusiveness of evidence in physical therapy and it will improve a patient-focused health outcome.