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: