To identify the effects of whole body vibration (WBV) on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in patients with chronic conditions.
Five databases (the Cochrane Library, PubMed, Medline, EBSCO, and Web of science) were searched (from inception until April 30, 2019) for original articles. All studies were randomized controlled trials reporting the effects of WBV on HRQOL. Two independent reviewers extracted trial data and assessed the risk of bias using the risk of bias tool recommended by the Cochrane Back Review Group.
Of the 349 articles that were screened, 17 articles, including 763 participants with various chronic conditions, met the inclusion criteria. Six studies reported significant improvements in HRQOL. No evidence was observed to suggest that WBV was more effective than other types of exercises. The study participants, exercise protocols, HRQOL instruments, study duration, and frequency as well as amplitude of WBV varied across the studies. Meta-analysis was not conducted due to the heterogeneity of study designs and outcome measures.
This study has demonstrated that WBV may improve HRQOL in patients with chronic conditions. However, the evidence was not strong enough to warrant recommendation and thus further high-quality studies with larger sample sizes and longer intervention durations are needed.